Pediatrics – About

History of Department of Pediatrics

Historical Perspective on Department of Pediatrics

The Department of Pediatrics lawfully originated as a Division of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital in accordance with the Royal Decree of 1945 that encouraged the increase in subject diversity within medical schools. The declaration published in the Royal Gazzette was dated November 2, 1945, only 2 months after Thailand entered into a World War II Peace Treaty on August 16, 1945. Thus, the Division of Pediatrics at Siriraj Hospital was born amidst every possible turbulence and hardship that existed during that time.

Historically, health care services for children have always been available since the foundation of Siriraj Hospital in 1888. Furthermore, the education of physicians regarding pediatric diseases was already in existence through the Department of Medicine. In 1921, His Royal Highness Chaofa Baripatr Sukhumpan donated capital for the construction of a single floor building that came to be called “Her Ladyship’s Building”, in memory of his 8th daughter who perished in 1914, when she did not yet have a title. Unfortunately, this building was destroyed during an Allies bombing raid on March 4, 1945. Subsequently, the Kumarn Building was constructed on its original site.

In the beginning of the Division of Pediatrics, Professor Prasert Kangsadal, the Chairman of the Department of Medicine, was the acting Chairman for the Division as well. Three medical instructors comprised this new division, Dr. Montri Mongkolsamai, Dr. Arun Netrsiri, and Dr. Cherdchalong Netrsiri. Eventually, in 1946, when the original Medical College proposed the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University, Dr. Montri Mongkolsamai moved to assume the position of Head of the Pediatrics Division there.

On January 1, 1946, Dr. Arun Netrsiri was appointed Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics. He was instrumental in pioneering the teaching of pediatric medicine, and the development of academic teaching, service and research models to be followed by many more generations of pediatricians.

At its conception, the Division was housed within the one-story Mint Laohasethee Building (est. 1932) and the first floor of the 2-storey Kaothai-Utid Building (est. 1945), totaling 30 in-patient beds and an additional 15-20 children were seen in the Outpatient Department. Aside from the Division Head, Dr. Cherdchalong Netrsiri was the only other division member and Dr. Sawatr Sakulthai was the senior house-officer and Dr. Prasong Tuchinda was the only other house-officer at that time. The Division’s Head of Nursing was Khun Sanguansuk Chantawongse who subsequently was promoted to Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, Siriraj Hospital.

On March 2, 1969, after a royal decree recognized the existence of Mahidol University, the Division of Pediatrics became the Department of Pediatrics and also became a part of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University.