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Come gather around people

Wherever you roam

And admit that the waters

Around you have grown

And accept it that soon

You'll be drenched to the bone

And if your breath to you is worth saving

Then you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changing

 

Bob Dylan

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For pediatric hospitalists, the Nobel Laureate's words could not ring more true. From that gathering of 130 or so of us in San Antonio in November 2003 to the announcement of subspecialty certification a mere 13 years later, the times are certainly a-changing. When we reread the preface of our first edition in 2007, we were tickled to find that we wrote “it would not be surprising if 10 years from now the field will have evolved dramatically.” Who knew we would be such excellent prognosticators?

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In our first edition, we were also quite proud of whom our book represented. In this edition, we endeavored to include a wide breadth of contributors as well. We have close to 300 contributing authors from over 50 different institutions represented—large and small children's hospitals, pediatric departments in academic medical centers, community hospitals, private practice, and everything in between. The common thread that connects all of these immensely talented individuals is the desire to present the best possible care to the hospitalized pediatric patient.

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And while our field has “grown up” so quickly, let us all recognize that there is still so much left to do. As hospitalists, we must continue to reduce unnecessary utilization of resources and eliminate unwarranted variation in care. There are still healthcare disparities and inequities in the system that need to be confronted and addressed. And while we may feel completely at home on the wards, hospitalization represents a vulnerable time for patients and families and we need to continue to work to improve that experience.

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We give our deepest and sincerest thanks to all of the individuals who made this second edition possible. In particular, we would like to recognize our associate editors Brian, Sanjay, and Samir, without whom this project would not have been possible. We are also most appreciative of the folks at McGraw-Hill who saw the need with us for a second edition and supported us through this effort.

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Lisa B. Zaoutis, MD and Vincent W. Chiang, MD

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