The bibliographic review of the issue 3/2010 is dedicated to the professional figure of the paediatrician. Enrico Solito, family paediatrician and Professor of Ambulatory Paediatrics at the School of Specialization in Paediatrics of the University of Florence, describes the fundamental steps which have led to the definition of the current figure of the physician specialized in children’s diseases. The author underlines that the evolution of paediatrics is not only linked to cultural progress or to the goodwill of paediatricians, but that it also stems from specific national and international agreements, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989. Indeed, in the two documents the children’s right to health is related to the right to grow up in their family, with adequate housing and nutrition, to receive education and, in general, to attain a good level of physical, psychological and social well-being. The figure of the paediatrician described in this article is the one of a professional who works in the community, who is committed not only to medical care, but also to prevention and education, and who is in touch with professionals of different fields.