ABSTRACT. Expertise in child development and behavior has been acknowledged as a critical prerequisite for the practice of general pediatrics since the early part of the 20th century. Recently, as the knowledge base has expanded, the concept OF Developmental & Behavioral pediatrics as a specialized academic discipline has generated growing interest. The extent to which this emerging field achieves full recognition as a respected pediatric subspecialty will be determined by its response to three critical challenges: the process of academic acculturation, the imperative of creative collaboration and intellectual cross-fertilization, and the requirements of scientific credibility. J Dev Behav Pediatr 14:409–412, 1993. Index terms: developmental-behavioral pediatrics, developmental pediatrics, behavioral pediatrics, child development, academic medicine.