T. Berry Brazelton: Biography & Works

Instructor: Danielle Haak

Danielle has a PhD in Natural Resource Sciences and a MSc in Biological Sciences

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton is a famous doctor who pioneered the fields of pediatrics and child psychiatry. This lesson will cover some of his many medical achievements and highlight some of his written works.

The Life of Dr. T. Berry Brazelton

T. Berry Brazelton is a medical doctor who has built an impressive career in pediatrics. Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that focuses on children's health. In this lesson, we'll take a look at his career path and how he influenced the field of medicine over the past several decades.

Education

Dr. Brazelton graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City in 1943 and completed his first internship there. Afterward, during his residency at Boston's Children Hospital, he began specializing in pediatrics. This interest was peeked and continued to evolve has he continued his training.

As Brazelton advanced, he narrowed his focus to child psychiatry and honed these skills while working at Massachusetts General Hospital, the James Jackson Putnam Children's Center, and the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard University. It was at Harvard that he decided to combine his two interests of primary care pediatrics and child psychiatry, which naturally guided him to opening the Child Development Unit at Boston's Children's Hospital in 1972.

Pause for a moment, and think about how much training and specialization this really is. Medical school is completed after a typical 4-year undergraduate degree, and Dr. Brazelton continued advancing his knowledge in pediatrics and child psychiatry/development for nearly 30 years following his initial graduation from medical school. It is not an understatement to call him an 'expert' in this area of medicine.

Professional Service

Once people are deemed experts in their chosen field, it is common for them to serve as special members of professional organizations. Dr. Brazelton was no exception: he served as president of the Society for Research in Child Development during 1987-1989, and the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs during 1988-1991.

This service, combined with his continued medical advances, led to his appointment to the National Commission on Children by Congress in 1989. Dr. Brazelton is also an affliate of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Behavioral Pediatrics, and he is co-founder of Parent Action.

Currently, Dr. Brazelton continues to teach and conduct research as an Emeritus Professor at Harvard University. Harvard University acknowledged his impressive contributions by creating the T. Berry Brazelton Chair in Pediatrics. Additionally, he is an active member of Brazelton Touchpoints, a training program to teach health professionals how to work with families of infants and young children, and the Brazelton Institute in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston's Children's Hospital.

Professional Contributions

As if this list of education, training, and professional service wasn't long enough, Dr. Brazelton also found time to publish more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, as well as 40 books, all in the field of pediatrics and child psychiatry/development.

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