The second female U.S. surgeon general, Joycelyn Elders is a renowned pediatrician and one of the first Black women to reach the pinnacle of the medical field in the U.S. She has been dragged into multiple controversies, one of them being a result of her support for sex education and masturbation.
C. Everett Koop was a pediatric surgeon and public health administrator who served as the 13th Surgeon General of the United States under President Ronald Reagan. Previously, he had been a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He was well-known for his support of the rights of children with disabilities and his work with AIDS patients.
Fe del Mundo was a Filipina paediatrician who achieved international recognition in 1977 when she was honored with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. In 1980, she was named National Scientist of the Philippines, becoming the first woman to be named so. Del Mundo is credited with founding Philippines' first pediatric hospital.
Gianna Beretta Molla was a Roman Catholic pediatrician, canonized as a saint for saving her unborn child’s life at the expense of her own. Although she knew that the removal of only the fibroma would endanger her life, she refused have an abortion, thus upholding the Roman Catholic doctrine that even an unborn child has a fundamental right to life.
American pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton conducted ground-breaking studies on newborn behavioral research. He is also remembered for his Emmy-winning show What Every Baby Knows and for his books such as Toddlers and Parents. He had advocated for parental and medical leaves and been part of the National Commission on Children.
Pediatrician Leila Denmark made headlines when she retired at age 103, after a career spanning over seven decades. She was the oldest practicing pediatrician in the world and the first woman pediatrician from Georgia. She was also the third-oldest living person in the U.S. when she died.
15 Saul Krugman
Considered the Father of American pediatrics, Abraham Jacobi was a German born American physician, who began his career in USA as a practicing doctor. Later, he took up teaching assignments at various universities, eventually establishing the first Department of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital. Also an advocate of birth control, he occupied a key position in the child healthcare movement.
18 Liri Berisha
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South African pediatric cardiologist and professor Lungile Pepeta is remembered for his life-long struggle to improve his country’s medical facilities and to create a medical school for doctors from rural areas. Part of the advisory committee of the government’s COVID-19 taskforce, he himself died of the virus later.