Pediatric hospital medicine: historical perspectives, inspired future

Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2012 May;42(5):107-12. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2012.01.001.


Pediatric hospital medicine (PHM) is in an accelerated growth phase. Multiple elements have combined to affect the current state of the field. PHM is similar to other geographic specialties such as pediatric emergency medicine and pediatric critical care that deliver general, comprehensive care to patients based on hospital site. Pediatric hospitalists have been molded by changes in medicine, consumer expectations, and training program modifications. The history of PHM dates back for more than 3 decades, when unwitting pediatricians began to focus on delivering care for the hospitalized child. The ensuing years allowed for natural responses to external pressures that resulted in much of the field's initial development. In more recent years, however, pediatric hospitalists have been catalysts for change and driving forces for health care systems' improvements. Simultaneous with this has been the nearly exponential surge of energy focused on targeted initiatives, which have further defined the field and brought attention on a national level. PHM is at a critical but brilliant juncture in development. Further decisions regarding scope and demonstration of competencies are important to make with clarity of purpose. Pediatric hospitalists are advancing child health in the inpatient setting through evidence-based care, research, education, clinical excellence, advocacy, and health care business acumen. With a strong community sense and leadership evident, PHM has a bright future.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / trends
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Hospitalists / history
  • Hospitalists / trends*
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / history
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / trends*
  • Humans
  • United States