The Author discusses the current role of the paediatrician and emphasises the need to develop
flexible and comprehensive knowledge and skills to deal with the complexity of her/his
new tasks. Society has lost the meaning of life and death, as well as confidence in authority,
included doctors’ one, and current culture is characterized by a feeling of insecurity and by
overwhelming concerns about health.
In this context illness and disease cannot be looked at following the biological paradigm
alone, and paediatricians need to be able to address complex and contradictory needs and