9780202362502

The New Pediatrics: A Profession in Transition

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780202362502

  • ISBN10:

    0202362507

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-07-15
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Summary

When antibiotics became readily available in the 1950s, thedanger of life-threatening infectious childhood diseasesvirtually disappeared. In that era, pediatricians broadenedthe core professional task of their specialty-the preventionand treatment of such diseases-to incorporate thebehavioral and psychosocial problems of children andadolescents. Pediatricians themselves began to refer to thischanging emphasis as the "new pediatrics," and to see thetrend as a natural progression of their specialty into newareas of care. At the same time there arose widespreaddisaffection among practicing general pediatricians,defection to other areas of practice, and a decline in thepopularity of pediatrics as a specialty choice.In analyzing the emergence of the new pediatrics asa case study within medical sociology, Pawluch showshow professional concerns and interests influence debatearound social problems. As sociologists began to takegreater interest in the problems of childhood, and aschildren’s lives became increasingly medicalize-as somehave argued-it is at least in part because of pediatricians’willingness to endorse medical definitions for certainsocial problems and to provide treatment for them.Pawluch’s underlying concern is that medical professionalshave begun to make claims for authority in thedefinition of what constitutes the social problems ofchildhood. Among the topics she examines are the "dissatisfied pediatrician syndrome," the potential for a crisisin oversupply of pediatricians and competing providersof services, the push for expansion into new areas of care,and possible future developments in this specialty.

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