Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Department of Pediatrics, 1930


Pediatrics has been taught at the medical school since 1893, when Dr. William A. White provided instruction in childhood diseases. In 1894 Dr. Harold Williams became the first professor of pediatrics. He served through 1899, making use of the pediatric clinics at the Boston Dispensary for student education. Drs. Edmund C. Stowell (1900-1911) and Dr. William R.P. Emerson (1911-1929), his successors, also taught students at the Boston Dispensary. Teaching during this early period was accomplished through didactic lectures and class demonstrations as well as clinics.

In 1930 Dr. Elmer W. Barton became the first head of the newly established Department of Pediatrics when he was appointed professor of pediatrics at the school, physician-in-chief at the Boston Floating Hospital, and chief at the Boston Dispensary's children's clinic. His successor, Dr. James M. Baty, was professor and chairman from 1942 to 1965. During his tenure, the teaching of pediatrics continued to be provided primarily to third- and fourth-year students. In the third year students were exposed to sixty-four hours of lectures as well as clinical demonstrations. They were also assigned to the clinics of the Boston Dispensary and the Boston Floating Hospital for a month. Dr. Baty extended the fourth-year clerkship to include the Charles V. Chapin (Providence, Rhode Island); Malden; and Booth Memorial Hospitals. During these years the department's research was primarily clinically oriented, except for the work of Dr. Richard Wagner, who studied glycogen metabolism in children.

With the arrival of Dr. Sydney S. Gellis, an internationally respected pediatrician, in 1965, a full-time department of pediatrics was established. Under his leadership, the department remained clinically strong and con-tinued to provide an excellent education for students. It also began to develop research programs that focused on the value of the growth hormone for childrenwith hypopituitarism, seizure control, the link between birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities, hepatitis, autism, and jaundice of the newborn. The program was strengthened in the Boston Floating Hospital division of the New England Medical Center as well, for its family participation unit was expanded and improved; a March of Dimes-supported birth defect center was established; divisions of neurology, infectious disease, and urology were introduced, adolescent and intensive care units were developed; and a pediatric trauma center was organized.

Dr. Gellis achieved emeritus status in 1979 and was succeeded by Dr. Richard C. Talamo. When Dr. Talamo's term was cut short by illness in 1981, Dr. Marshall Kreidberg became acting chairman. In 1983 Dr. Jane Schaller was appointed professor and chair of the school and pediatrician-in-chief at the Boston Floating Hospital. Dr. Schaller, who holds an M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School, and trained at the University of Washington in Seattle, is an eminent pediatrician who has achieved national recognition for her work on arthritis in children. As chair of pediatrics she strengthened and expanded the department's clinical, academic, and research activities. She also added new divisions in nephtology, rheumatology, and critical care and has restructured those of general pediatrics, pulmonology, gastroenterology/nutrition, cardiology, neonatology, hematology/oncology, infectious disease, and neurology. Under her aegis, an outstanding residency program has been developed, forty-nine new faculty have been appointed, and a number of innovative programs have been instituted, (including the Boston Perinatal Center, the Affiliated Children's Arthritis Center of New England, the Failure to Thrive Clinic, the Center for Children with Special Needs, the Children's Cancer Center, and the International Adoption Clinic). In 1992 the department ranked second among the school's clinical departments in terms of research activity. Research funding has grown from approximately $600,000 (in 1984) to over $3.5 million.

Under Dr. Schaller's leadership the Department of Pediatrics developed a truly distinguished faculty, many of whom are acknowledged as national leaders in their field. They have published extensively in pediatric and basic science journals and have served on the editorial boards of prestigiousjournals. Faculty members have been elected to the American Pediatric Society and the Society for Pediatric Research. Their 1992 honors include the Humanitarian of the Year Award of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (Dr. Richard Grand) and the Amelia Earhart Award of the Women's Educational Industrial Union (Dr. Schaller). Dr. Schaller was also elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Source: COE, 147-49.

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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