Pediatrics (also spelled paediatrics or pædiatrics) is the branch of
medicine that involves the medical care of infants, children, and
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends people be
under pediatric care up to the age of 21. A medical doctor who
specializes in this area is known as a pediatrician, or paediatrician.
The word pediatrics and its cognates mean "healer of children"; they
derive from two Greek words: παῖς (pais "child") and
ἰατρός (iatros "doctor, healer"). Pediatricians work both in
hospitals, particularly those working in its subspecialties such as
neonatology, and as primary care physicians.
2 Differences between adult and pediatric medicine
3 Education Requirements
4 Training of pediatricians
6 See also
8 Further reading
9 External links
Part of Great Ormond Street
Hospital in London, United Kingdom, which
was the first pediatric hospital in the English-speaking world.
Already Hippocrates, Aristotle, Celsus, Soranus, and
the differences in growing and maturing organisms that necessitated
different treatment: Ex toto non sic pueri ut viri curari debent ( "In
general, boys should not be treated in the same way as men."
Some of the oldest traces of pediatrics can be discovered in Ancient
India where children's doctors were called kumara bhrtya. Sushruta
Samhita an ayurvedic text, composed during the sixth century BC
contains the text about pediatrics. Another ayurvedic text from
this period is Kashyapa Samhita.
A second century AD manuscript by the Greek physician and gynecologist
Soranus of Ephesus dealt with neonatal pediatrics. Byzantine
physicians Oribasius, Aëtius of Amida, Alexander Trallianus, and
Paulus Aegineta contributed to the field. The Byzantines also built
brephotrophia (crêches). Islamic writers served as a bridge for
Greco-Roman and Byzantine medicine and added ideas of their own,
especially Haly Abbas, Serapion, Avicenna, and Averroes. The Persian
philosopher and physician al-Razi (865–925) published a monograph on
pediatrics titled Diseases in
Children as well as the first definite
description of smallpox as a clinical entity. Also among the
first books about pediatrics was Libellus [Opusculum] de
aegritudinibus et remediis infantium 1472 ("Little
Book on Children
Diseases and Treatment"), by the Italian pediatrician Paolo
Bagellardo. In sequence came Bartholomäus Metlinger's Ein
Regiment der Jungerkinder 1473,
Cornelius Roelans (1450–1525) no
title Buchlein, or Latin compendium, 1483, and Heinrich von
Louffenburg (1391–1460) Versehung des Leibs written in 1429
(published 1491), together form the Pediatric Incunabula, four great
medical treatises on children's physiology and pathology.
The Swedish physician
Nils Rosén von Rosenstein
Nils Rosén von Rosenstein (1706–1773) is
considered to be the founder of modern pediatrics as a medical
specialty, while his work The diseases of children, and their
remedies (1764) is considered to be "the first modern textbook on the
Pediatrics as a specialized field of medicine continued
to develop in the mid-19th century; German physician Abraham Jacobi
(1830–1919) is known as the father of American pediatrics because of
his many contributions to the field. He received his medical
Germany and later practiced in New York City.
The first generally accepted pediatric hospital is the Hôpital des
Enfants Malades (French:
Hospital for Sick Children), which opened in
Paris in June 1802 on the site of a previous orphanage. From its
beginning, this famous hospital accepted patients up to the age of
fifteen years, and it continues to this day as the pediatric
division of the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, created in 1920 by
merging with the physically contiguous Necker Hospital, founded in
In other European countries, the
Charité (a hospital founded in 1710)
Berlin established a separate Pediatric Pavilion in 1830, followed
by similar institutions at
Sankt Petersburg in 1834, and at
Breslau (now Wrocław), both in 1837. In 1852 Britain's first
pediatric hospital, the
Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond
Streets. The first
Children's hospital in Scotland opened in 1860
in Edinburgh. In the US, the first similar institutions were the
Hospital of Philadelphia, which opened in 1855, and then
Hospital (1869). Subspecialties in pediatrics
were created at the Harriet Lane Home at Johns Hopkins
Edwards A. Park.
Differences between adult and pediatric medicine
The body size differences are paralleled by maturation changes. The
smaller body of an infant or neonate is substantially different
physiologically from that of an adult. Congenital defects, genetic
variance, and developmental issues are of greater concern to
pediatricians than they often are to adult physicians. A common adage
is that children are not simply "little adults". The clinician must
take into account the immature physiology of the infant or child when
considering symptoms, prescribing medications, and diagnosing
A major difference between the practice of pediatric and adult
medicine is that children, in most jurisdictions and with certain
exceptions, cannot make decisions for themselves. The issues of
guardianship, privacy, legal responsibility and informed consent must
always be considered in every pediatric procedure. Pediatricians often
have to treat the parents and sometimes, the family, rather than just
Adolescents are in their own legal class, having rights to
their own health care decisions in certain circumstances. The concept
of legal consent combined with the non-legal consent (assent) of the
child when considering treatment options, especially in the face of
conditions with poor prognosis or complicated and painful
procedures/surgeries, means the pediatrician must take in to account
the desires of many people, in addition to those of the patient.
Aspiring medical students will need 4 years of undergraduate courses
at a college or university, which will get them a BS, BA, or other
bachelor's degree. After completing college future pediatricians will
need to attend 4 years of medical school and later do 3 more years of
residency training, the first year of residency is formerly called
"Internship." After completing the 3 years of residency, physicians
are eligible to become certified in pediatrics by passing a rigorous
test that deals with medical conditions related to young children.
In high school, future pediatricians are required to take basic
science classes, such as, biology, chemistry, physics, algebra,
geometry, and calculus and also foreign language class, preferably
Spanish, and get involved in high school organizations and
extracurricular activities. After high school, college students simply
need to fulfill the basic science course requirements that most
medical schools recommend and will need to prepare to take the MCAT
(Medical College Admission Test) their junior or early senior year in
college. Once attending medical school, students courses will focus on
basic medical sciences, like human anatomy, physiology, chemistry,
etc., for the first three years. The second year is when medical
students start to get "hands-on" experience with patients.
Training of pediatricians
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS/MBChB)
The training of pediatricians varies considerably across the world.
Depending on jurisdiction and university, a medical degree course may
be either undergraduate-entry or graduate-entry. The former commonly
takes five or six years, and has been usual in the Commonwealth.
Entrants to graduate-entry courses (as in the US), usually lasting
four or five years, have previously completed a three- or four-year
university degree, commonly but by no means always in sciences.
Medical graduates hold a degree specific to the country and university
in and from which they graduated. This degree qualifies that medical
practitioner to become licensed or registered under the laws of that
particular country, and sometimes of several countries, subject to
requirements for "internship" or "conditional registration".
Pediatricians must undertake further training in their chosen field.
This may take from four to eleven or more years, (depending on
jurisdiction and the degree of specialization).
In the United States, a medical school graduate wishing to specialize
in pediatrics must undergo a three-year residency composed of
outpatient, inpatient, surgical, and critical care rotations.
Specialties within pediatrics require further training in the form of
3-year fellowships. Specialties include critical care,
gastroenterology, neurology, infectious disease, hematology/oncology,
rheumatology, pulmonology, child abuse, emergency medicine,
endocrinology, neonatology, and others.
In most jurisdictions, entry-level degrees are common to all branches
of the medical profession, but in some jurisdictions, specialization
in pediatrics may begin before completion of this degree. In some
jurisdictions, pediatric training is begun immediately following
completion of entry-level training. In other jurisdictions, junior
medical doctors must undertake generalist (unstreamed) training for a
number of years before commencing pediatric (or any other)
specialization. Specialist training is often largely under the control
of pediatric organizations (see below) rather than universities, and
depend on jurisdiction.
Subspecialties of pediatrics include:
(not an exhaustive list)
Child abuse pediatrics
Hospice & palliative care
Pediatric allergy and immunology
Pediatric critical care
Pediatric emergency medicine
Pediatric infectious disease
Other specialties that care for children include:
Child neurology, a specialty in its own right
Child psychiatry, subspecialty of psychiatry
Pediatric anesthesiology, subspecialty of anesthesiology
Pediatric dermatology, subspecialty of dermatology
Pediatric neurosurgery, subspecialty of neurosurgery
Pediatric ophthalmology, subspecialty of ophthalmology
Pediatric orthopedic surgery, subspecialty of orthopedic surgery
Pediatric otolaryngology, subspecialty of otolaryngology
Pediatric rehabilitation medicine, subspecialty of physical medicine
Pediatric surgery, subspecialty of general surgery
Pediatric urology, subspecialty of urology
Pain in babies
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics
Royal College of Paediatrics and
Center on Media and
Child Health (CMCH)
^ "Age limits of pediatrics". Pediatrics. 81 (5): 736. May 1988.
PMID 3357740. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
^ Celsus, De Medicinâ,
Book 3, Chapter 7, § 1.
^ a b c d e Colón, A. R.; Colón, P. A. (January 1999). Nurturing
children: a history of pediatrics. Greenwood Press.
ISBN 9780313310805. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
^ John G. Raffensperger. Children's Surgery: A Worldwide History.
McFarland. p. 21.
^ David Levinson; Karen Christensen. Encyclopedia of modern Asia. 4.
Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 116.
^ Desai, A.B. Textbook Of Paediatrics. Orient blackswan.
^ P.M. Dunn, "
Soranus of Ephesus (circa AD 98–138) and perinatal
care in Roman times", Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and
Neonatal Edition, 1995 July; 73(1): F51–F52.
^ Elgood, Cyril (2010). A Medical History of Persia and The Eastern
Caliphate (1st ed.). London: Cambridge. pp. 202–203.
ISBN 978-1-108-01588-2. By writing a monograph on 'Diseases in
Children' he may also be looked upon as the father of
^ U.S. National Library of Medicine, "Islamic Culture and the Medical
Arts, Al-Razi, the Clinician" 
^ "Achar S Textbook Of
Pediatrics (Third Edition)". A. B. Desai (ed.)
(1989). p.1. ISBN 81-250-0440-8
^ Lock, Stephen; John M. Last; George Dunea (2001). The Oxford
illustrated companion to medicine. Oxford University Press US.
p. 173. ISBN 978-0-19-262950-0. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
^ Roberts, Michael (2003). The Age of Liberty: Sweden 1719–1772.
Cambridge University Press. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-521-52707-1.
Retrieved 9 July 2010.
^ Dallas, John. "Classics of
Child Care". Royal College of Physicians
of Edinburgh. Retrieved 9 July 2010. [permanent dead link]
^ "Broadribb's Introductory Pediatric Nursing". Nancy T. Hatfield
(2007). p.4. ISBN 0-7817-7706-2
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-04-18. Retrieved
^ a b Ballbriga, Angel (1991). "One century of pediatrics in Europe
(section: development of pediatric hospitals in Europe)". In Nichols,
Burford L.; et al. History of Paediatrics 1850–1950. Nestlé
Nutrition Workshop Series. 22. New York: Raven Press. pp. 6–8.
^ official history site (in French) of nineteenth century paediatric
hospitals in Paris
^ Young, D.G. (August 1999). "The Mason Brown Lecture: Scots and
paediatric surgery". Journal of the Royal College of surgeons
Edinburgh. 44: 211–5. Archived from the original on
^ Pearson, Howard A. (1991). "
Pediatrics in the United States". In
Nichols, Burford L.; et al. History of Paediatrics 1850–1950.
Nestlé Nutrition Workshop Series. 22. New York: Raven Press.
pp. 55–63. ISBN 0-88167-695-0.
^ ""Commentaries: Edwards A Park"". Pediatrics. American Academy of
Pediatrics. 44: 897–901. 1969.
^ "What Education Is Required to Be a Pediatrician?". Retrieved
Pediatrics – a monthly magazine
Pediatrics – a peer-reviewed journal
Consultant for Pediatricians – a peer-reviewed journal
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paediatrics.
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Pediatrics
Look up Paediatrics or
Pediatrics in Wiktionary, the free
American Academy of Pediatrics
Canadian Paediatric Society
Academia Mexicana de Pediatria
Pediatric Collection by the BMJ – Collection of Pediatric papers
published in the British Medical Journal.
Portal – Babies' and Children's health in the EU
New York University
Pediatrics Video Lectures
Infant Feeders Collection – A historical collection of infant
feeding devices from the UBC Library Digital Collections
Pediatric Oncall –
Child Health Care website for doctors and parents
Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Allergy / Immunology
Obstetrics and gynaecology
Reproductive endocrinology and infertility
Physical medicine and rehabilitation
Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R)
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
Bachelor of Medical Sciences
Master of Medicine
Master of Surgery
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
History of medicine
Infants and their care
Breastfeeding and medications
Failure to thrive
Infant and toddler safety
Infant food safety
Infant food safety
Infant respiratory distress syndrome
infant sleep training
Neo-natal intensive care unit
Oral rehydration therapy/Pedialyte
Newborn care and safety
Shaken baby syndrome
Sudden infant death syndrome
Infant visual development
Infant cognitive development
Prenatal development table
Types of crying
Socialization and Culture
Infant care and equipment
Baby monitor/Hidden camera
Child safety seat/Car seat safety
Infant bed (American 'crib' and 'cradle', British 'cot')
Supplemental nursing system
Infant ear piercing
Prenatal cocaine exposure
Neonatal withdrawal syndrome
Parental child abduction