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Book and Media Reviews
June 27, 2007

Charles A. Janeway: Pediatrician to the World’s Children

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 2007;297(24):2767-2772. doi:10.1001/jama.297.24.2771

A glance at a modern academic medical center, with its cast of thousands, ubiquitous construction sites, and groaning annual budgets, would force any innocent visitor to conclude that academic medicine has been taking steroids for generations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only 50 years ago, the entire budget for all of academic medicine in the United States was less than 200 million dollars. In that penurious era (more precisely in 1946 and at the age of 37), Charles Alderson Janeway assumed the Thomas Morgan Rotch chair in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, with a salary of $15 000 and the leadership of what was called the Department of Medicine at the Children's Hospital. He built the modern department, remained in his academic positions until 1974, and died in 1981 of a malignant disorder of plasmacytes, the very cells that he had studied as a brilliant clinical investigator.