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Neonatologist celebrates 50 years of preemie care

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When I wrote a magazine piece on the evolution of children's hospitals a few years back, numerous people here said the one person I had to interview was neonatologist Philip Sunshine, MD. He's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, I was told - and he's been here forever.

Forever may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but the 80-year-old has been at Stanford (minus a few years here and there) since 1957. During his 50-year career, he's witnessed the birth and growth of the field of neonatology, cared for more than 30,000 babies, and helped make advances that have led to improved survival rates for infants. (When he first started seeing patients, the survival rate for premature infants was less than 50 percent; now it's over 90 percent for most.) And though he has emeritus status, he still cares for patients during his 30-hour work-weeks at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

Sunshine was featured in a recent Packard release, and it's definitely worth a read.

Photo by USAID_IMAGES

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