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July 1976

Introductory Remarks

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(7):693. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120080015001

This is the year our country celebrates its 200th birthday. It is natural at such a time for us to pause a while to review our past history and progress over these many years. There have been vast changes in our country's physical, demographic, social, and intellectual character. In these two centuries American medicine too has changed. It is quite fair to say that medical developments have been influential in effecting much of the country's progress.

To claim that this is the 200th birthday of pediatrics would be an overstatement of our professional history. A centennial would be more accurate. Our first pediatric teacher, Abraham Jacobi, was appointed "Professor of Infantile Pathology and Therapeutics" in 1860, at a time when the term "pediatrics" was not even being generally used. Our first children's hospital, in Philadelphia, was opened in 1855. In a review of medical developments, A Century of American Medicine