Many of the physical diseases that occupied the time of pediatricians in past years have been controlled through public health measures and preventive medicine. Some illnesses, such as measles and rheumatic fever, have become less severe, and antimicrobial agents have reduced the time a pediatrician must spend in attending his patients while they are overcoming a bacterial infection. This evolution has allowed the pediatrician to broaden his interests and responsibilities from a "practice limited to diseases of infancy and childhood" toward a more active role in the many behavioral and developmental problems of his patients. The pediatrician is expected to assume a more active role in the many spheres of pediatrics which have been supported by national and local pediatric groups, such as mental health, juvenile delinquency, adolescence, school health, etc.
In order to serve these interests and responsibilities better, I added a social worker to my office staff
TOWNSEND EH. The Social Worker in Pediatric Practice: An Experiment. Am J Dis Child. 1964;107(1):77–83. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02080060079011
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