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Paediatricians: are they just little adults?


The DFTB team could not let this landmark article pass by unmentioned. In this study, the authors finally investigate the serious problem of short stature amongst paediatricians. We have always felt smaller than the rest of the medical population, but is that just an inferiority complex, or are they actually looking down on us?

Tabner, A., Johnson, G., Jones, M., Patel, R., Husk, K., Parish, R., Rees, J., Henstridge, V., Clark, I., Thomas, V. and Hearnshaw, C., 2016. Paediatricians: Are they just little adults?. Emergency Medicine Journal33(12), pp.918-919.

What was the population?

The authors used six hospitals in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. The doctors recruited were from the specialities of paediatrics, emergency medicine, general medicine, and geriatric medicine. Doctors were considered to be part of a speciality if they had been working in it for at least two years.

In total, there were 164 doctors recruited for the study, 61 of which were paediatricians.

What was investigated?

Doctors were measured for height, BMI, head circumference, and shoe size.

What did the results show?

After adjusting for gender and country of birth, the results were astounding.

Paediatricians are shorter, lighter, and have a smaller shoe sizes than the other specialties.

There was no difference in head circumference or BMI.

In conclusion, paediatricians are smaller than their peers, although we have relatively larger heads (Ed: possibly related to the vast amount of information we store).

Take home message: if you are shorter than your colleagues, and not yet working in paediatrics, it may be time to change speciality. Recruitment agencies: take note.


  • Tessa Davis is a Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine at the Royal London Hospital and a Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London.


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3 thoughts on “Paediatricians: are they just little adults?”

  1. everything about this post is hilarious … the study title, the study findings, the fact that it got published and the fact that someone even did the study. Surely you are having a lend. If not, this is truly Evidence Based Gold!