Pediatrics

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Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. The age limit of such patients ranges from birth to 18. In countries where the age of majority is 18, this age limit may be from birth to age 17 (such as in Canada). A medical practitioner who specializes in this area is known as a pediatrician. The word pediatrics and its cognates mean healer of children; they derive from two Greek words: παῖς (pais = child) and ἰατρός (iatros = doctor or healer). In Commonwealth countries, the respective spellings paediatrics and paediatrician are usually preferred. There may be a slight semantic difference: in the USA, a pediatrician (US spelling) is often a primary care physician who specializes in children, whereas in the Commonwealth a paediatrician (British spelling) generally is a medical specialist not in primary general practice. For further detail, see discussion on the broad and narrow meanings.

Contents

History

Pediatrics is a relatively new medical specialty, developing only in the mid-19th century. Arthur Jacobi (1830–1919) is known as the father of pediatrics because of his many contributions to the field.[1]

Soraneus in Greece in the 2nd century AD wrote the first known manuscript devoted to pediatrics.[2] Rhazes (865–925) in Persia wrote The Diseases of Children, the first book to deal with pediatrics as an independent field of medicine.[3][unreliable source?] The first printed book to be devoted especially to children's diseases was in Italian (1472) by Bagallarder's Little Book on Disease in Children.[2]

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