- "Pediatrics is concerned with the health of infants, children and adolescents, their growth and development, and their opportunity to achieve full potential as adults." (Richard E.Behrman in Nelson's Textbook of Pediatrics) Pediatrics became a medical specialty in the mid-19th century. Before that time the care and treatment of childhood diseases was included within such areas as general medicine and obstetrics (and midwifery). The first pediatric monograph written in the U.S. was by Charles Caldwell who received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1796. His doctoral thesis was on diseases of childhood associated with fever.
* * *The medical specialty concerned with the study and treatment of children in health and disease during development from birth through adolescence. [G. pais (paid-), child, + iatreia, medical treatment]
* * *pe·di·at·rics or chiefly Brit pae·di·at·rics .pēd-ē-'a-triks n pl but sing or pl in constr a branch of medicine dealing with the development, care, and diseases of children
* * *pe·di·at·rics (pe″de-atґriks) [ped-1 + -iatrics] the branch of medicine that deals with the child, development and care of children, and the nature and treatment of diseases of children.
Medical dictionary. 2011.