Landmark Developments in Pediatrics: 1995-2015

Russell W. Steele, MD; Patrick J. Unkel, MD


August 20, 2015

In This Article


Major advances in the prevention of disease from the past two decades allow today's children to live a much healthier life. Before the start of the 21st century, experts reflected on the progress our world had made over the previous 100 years and concluded that the development and availability of safe and effective vaccines was the major achievement of the 20th century.[1]

Further progress in controlling disease through immunization has continued into our current millennium. Other recent advances in pediatrics include new medications; imaging techniques; diagnostic tests; and surgical interventions, particularly transplantation. Many of these contributions to medicine are more exciting to talk about, but prevention of disease remains our greatest achievement for children.

We summarize some of the landmarks in pediatrics over the past 20 years in the Table and then emphasize five achievements in our article that we felt were particularly important.

Table. Landmark Developments in Pediatrics: 1995-2015

Disease prevention with vaccines
Congenital CMV: diagnosis with PCR and treatment
Hepatitis C treatment
Transplantation, including new immunosuppressive medications
Inflammatory bowel disease: treatment with monoclonal antibodies
Ventricular assist devices
Genetic diagnosis
Diabetes: treatment and monitoring
Imaging (eg, MRI)
Advances in intensive care
Electronic medical records

CMV = cytomegalovirus; HAART = highly active antiretroviral therapy; PCR = polymerase chain reaction


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