A career in...
Working with children: difficult to gain experience in medical school
- By: Naomi Tomlinson, Nick Makwana
The needs of children are huge and wide ranging—from vaccination and infectious diseases to chronic illnesses and cancer. It is therefore not surprising that over the years paediatrics has grown into a diverse and fascinating medical specialty.
Paediatrics took off as a medical specialty in its own right in the mid-1800s, largely because of the work of Abraham Jacobi. It wasn’t until 1852, however, that the English speaking world got its first paediatric hospital—Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London.
The knowledge and expertise of paediatricians has gone from strength to strength, and the challenges faced by today’s doctors are different from those of doctors in the past, which were mainly the problems of infections.
Successful vaccination programmes have had an impact worldwide and include the eradication of smallpox. We still face challenges, however, such as hundreds of children dying every day from simple, preventable causes such as cholera and measles,