Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD
Director, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine
Director, Program in the History of Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics and History
Dr. Jeffrey Baker is director of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine. A professor of Pediatrics and History, he has practiced for over 25 years as a general pediatrician in Duke Children’s Primary Care with a focus on children with autism and special needs. Dr. Baker’s historical work has also centered on child health. As the author of the book, The Machine in the Nursery (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), he is a leading authority on the history of neonatal medicine. Dr. Baker co-edited a 75th year anniversary history of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and has written historical articles related to pediatrics and vaccination. Most recently, he has been engaged in a project reconstructing the work of the “discoverer” of autism, Dr. Leo Kanner, through examining original case records from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Baker also has directed the History of Medicine program within the Trent Center since 2006. He teaches in all four years of the medical student curriculum. His has directed the Duke Autism Clinic, and continues to engage actively with the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development as its primary care liaison. His past leadership positions in the Duke School of Arts and Sciences have included directing the AB Duke Scholarship program and medical humanities/social science course clusters within Duke’s Focus program for first-year students.
On the national level, Dr. Baker chairs the committee advising the Pediatric History Center at the American Academy of Pediatrics and edits a historical monthly feature in the journal Pediatrics. He is also active within the American Association of the History of Medicine, where he currently serves as co-chair of the Program Committee.