The Division of General Pediatrics was one of the founding Divisions in the Department of Pediatrics, when the Stanford University School of Medicine moved from San Francisco to Palo Alto in 1959.  The Division’s initial clinical and educational responsibilities were centered in the General Pediatrics Clinic, where students from the Stanford University School of Medicine had their initial introduction to the specialty of Pediatrics and young physicians in the pediatric residency training program of Stanford University Hospital had an opportunity to work under the supervision of faculty from the School of Medicine.  

The size of the Department grew under the leadership of the late Irving Schulman, MD, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics from 1972-1991. The Division was asked to take on an increasing role in the care of patients hospitalized at the Children’s Hospital at Stanford and at the Stanford University Hospital, including newborns and hospitalized children and adolescents.  From the beginning, the Division’s clinical practice was open to all children, which made it a key component of the community’s safety net for children in the region.  As its clinical role expanded, the Division also took on primary responsibility for the training of pediatric house staff in their Pediatric Continuity Clinics, Newborn Nursery and General Pediatric Ward Services. Concurrent with the increase in its clinical and educational role, the Division’s research also expanded with a focus on childhood obesity, health services, and underserved children.

With the opening of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in 1991, the Division of General Pediatrics further grew from its initial size of five full-time faculty to its present complement of 48 faculty. The Division’s growth has included the development of an inpatient hospitalist program that now provides care of hospitalized patients at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, as well as in satellite inpatient units at the El Camino Hospital in Mountain View and the Washington Hospital in Fremont.  Faculty in the Division also provide pediatric care in the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Pediatric Weight Clinic and at the Ravenswood Family Health Center, a community clinic in East Palo Alto.