A pediatrician is a medical doctor who treats and manages physical, mental, and behavioral symptoms in children from birth until the age of 18. A Pediatrician is trained for the diagnosis and treatment of childhood illnesses, minor to serious. They are doctors who have completed three years of a residency program in pediatrics after graduating from medical school. Pediatricians meet regular hours of continuing education requirements to remain certified.
After the age of five pediatricians mostly see your child for annual checkups. A pediatrician can perform the following on your child:
- Conduct physical exams, recommend immunization, inform you on your child’s safety, health nutrition fitness.
- A pediatrician can answer questions related to your child’s health, growth, and development.
- Most pediatricians are primary care physicians who perform regular health checks on your child. Some pediatricians are specialized and work in treating more specific medical or health conditions.
What are the specialties of pediatricians?
Pediatric medicine is a crucial subject of every clinical medicine program. Pediatric sub-specialties can include:
- Critical care pediatrician:A healthcare professional who treats children born with unstable health conditions. They usually work in the hospital intensive care units.
- Adolescent medicine specialist:This pediatrician focuses on caring for children in the age group of 11 to 20.
- Developmental behavioral pediatricianevaluates the behavioral development in children. They are specialists in diagnosing and treating developmental, learning, speech issues if any.
- Pediatric cardiologistsdiagnose and treat heart conditions in children. In most cases, they work with pediatric heart surgeons closely to decide on the best health strategies.
- Pediatric pulmonologistsdiagnose and treat breathing problems and lung diseases in children.
- Pediatric rheumatologistswork in treating muscle and skeleton-related problems in children like rheumatoid arthritis and acute pain.
Besides these, other specialists treat and manage symptoms in children like pediatric nephrologists, oncologists, neurologists, etc.
Pediatric medicine is not an abridged version of adult medicine. Children and teenagers have needs that are specific to them. Besides body sizes, many other factors are taken care of when treating a child.
Pediatric patients are continuing to mature and evolve intellectually, socially, and emotionally. A pediatrician should be able to handle the rampant changes associated with treating children. Pedestrians should be very patient and empathetic with their patients and their parents. The doctor should be a good communicator to be able to instruct and inform the parents of the child about healthcare situations when required.
What can a pediatrician do?
Pediatric physicians are trained to:
- Identify normal development and growth in children.
- Identify abnormalities from infants to adults
- Identify genetic syndromes, acute or chronic pediatric conditions, suggest treatments, etc.
- Pediatricians can identify if the growth and development in the child is healthy and normal or can suggest changes in food and physical activities for the improvement of health in children
- Suggest preventive care for kids from vaccination to taking care of nutrition. Pediatricians can also provide great insight on genetic syndromes, or identification of risk factors.
They apply physiology rules applicable to children from their birth to adulthood. Pediatricians have expert knowledge on appropriate drugs for children and their dosage. They use their knowledge and experience to provide health care to a child suffering from an illness or outline approaches to prevent them.