black and white drawing with several figures in a medical setting. At the center is a young woman, dressed in a hat and coat, holding a baby with a young boy at her left side, holding onto her coat.

Illustration of an MGH pediatric ward, 1920s

While Mass General has always taken care of children, they were initially treated in the same wards as adults. In 1902, the hospital created its first ward solely for children in the center of the Bulfinch Building on the third floor, then called the Children’s Medical Service. It expanded to the second floor in 1920. It wasn’t until 1930 that the hospital designated a surgeon to be the pediatric surgeon. This was in line with the development of pediatrics as a sub-field of medicine. Doctors and nurses began to understand that children have specific health care needs, and their bodies don’t function just like smaller adults.