ⓘ Isaac Arthur Abt was an American pediatrician and the first president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was one of the first U.S. physicians to speciali ..

                                     

ⓘ Isaac Arthur Abt

Isaac Arthur Abt was an American pediatrician and the first president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was one of the first U.S. physicians to specialize in pediatrics and he authored an influential textbook in the first part of the 20th century.

                                     

1. Biography

Abt was born in 1867 in Wilmington, Will County, Illinois. His parents were German immigrants and his father was a grocery store owner and postmaster. As a small child, Abt lost his sister to diphtheria and his cousin to scarlet fever, which impacted his interest in medicine. As a teenager, Abt worked in a pharmacy, where his interest in medicine intensified. He attended West Division High School in Chicago, then went to Johns Hopkins University. At Johns Hopkins, Abt received guidance from pathologist William H. Welch. He then studied medicine at Chicago Medical College.

Abt worked at Rush Medical College and Northwestern University. He served as president for several medical and scientific organizations, including the American Association for Teachers of the Diseases of Children, the American Pediatric Society and the Chicago Medical Society. He was the founding president of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1931.

As of 2014, the medical school at Northwestern awards a named professorship in his honor, the Isaac A. Abt, MD, Professor of Kidney Diseases.