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October 26, 1984


JAMA. 1984;252(16):2219-2223. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160087026

Budin, the French obstetrician, was perhaps the first to develop the specialty of neonatology when he opened his "consultation for nurslings" in 1892. He went on to write a book about preterm infants, in which he referred to them as suffering from "congenital feebleness." Couney, one of Budin's students, took advantage of the morbid public interest in this topic and, at the Chicago Exposition in 1914, showed preterm infants to spectators, who were fascinated by these tiny creatures. Incubators were first shown at the World's Fair in 1939, in a similar display; shortly thereafter, Hess opened the Premature Center at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. Modern neonatology began with the recognition that these tiny infants required very particular attention to their temperature control, to administration of fluids, and to protection from infection. It was not, however, until the early 1960s that neonatology, as we know it today, began as a