American Pediatric Society Founded
The latter part of the 19th century was a risky time to be a child in America. Infant mortality stood at about 200 per 1,000 births, a serious form of diarrhea killed thousands of babies each year, and epidemics of scarlet fever, diphtheria and other diseases ran rampant. On this date in 1888, several physicians founded the American Pediatric Society. Academic pediatrician Job Lewis Smith led the effort in creating an organization that would address pediatric issues and clinical problems. Abraham Jacobi, another noted academic pediatrician, served as the Societys first president. At the time, none of the founders treated only children, and hospitals that specialized in pediatrics numbered about six.
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