The Development of Pediatrics as a Specialty

  • Todd L. Savttt
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 33)


Peter English’s ‘“Not Miniature Men and Women‘: Abraham Jacobi’s Vision of a New Medical Specialty a Century Ago” [1] provides important insights into the history of pediatrics. Using the writings and speeches of early pioneers in American pediatrics, he has described some of the arguments these leaders used to convince fellow physicians and the public of the need for a medical specialty whose sole concern was children. In recounting how early leaders in pediatrics demonstrated that children were not “miniature men and women,” Dr. English necessarily covers a number of topics in a short space. He gives a very close-up view, from the perspective of the participants themselves. In this commentary, I will take a few steps back and survey more of the scene to gain a sense of how the arguments English presents fit into the larger picture of turn-of-the-century medicine and society.


Medical Specialty Late Nineteenth Century Primary Care Specialty Fellow Physician Diphtheria Antitoxin 
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    English, P. C: 1989, ‘“Not Miniature Men and Women”: Abraham Jacobi’s Vision of a New Medical Specialty a Century Ago’, in this volume, pp. 247–273.Google Scholar
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    English, P. C: 1984, ‘Pediatrics and the Unwanted Child in History: Foundling Homes, Disease, and the Origin of Foster Care in New York City, 1860 to 1920’, Pediatrics 73, 699–711.Google Scholar
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    Garrison, F. H.: 1965, ‘History of Pediatrics’, in Abt-Garrison History of Pediatrics, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, pp. 1–170.Google Scholar
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    Rosen, G.: 1944, The Specialization of Medicine with Particular Reference to Ophthalmology, Froben Press, New York.Google Scholar
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    Rothstein, W. G.: 1972, American Physicians in the Nineteenth Century, From Sects to Science, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
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    Stevens, R.: 1971, American Medicine and the Public Interest, Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Todd L. Savttt
    • 1
  1. 1.East Carolina University School of MedicineGreenville

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