What is a Pediatrician?
A pediatrician is a healthcare professional who specializes in treating children. They offer physical, behavioral, and mental care for children from birth until age 18. They diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses and health problems as well as more serious health conditions.
How does a doctor become a Pediatrician?
To become a pediatrician, a person must first complete an undergraduate program and then attend at least four more years of medical school. After graduating from medical school, the doctor must complete a three-year residency in a pediatric program. During the residency, they will continue to learn while also practicing pediatric medicine under the supervision of an experienced pediatrician. Many doctors also choose to study sub-specialties and may attend school longer or complete more residencies.
What types of illnesses do Pediatricians treat?
Pediatricians treat a number of different illnesses and health conditions. These illnesses can range from mild to severe. They also monitor children with checkups to make sure they are growing properly and hitting the correct milestones. Some common illnesses treated by pediatricians include:
- Juvenile arthritis
- Juvenile diabetes
- Digestive issues
- Ear infections
- Growth problems
- Kidney problems
- Respiratory issues
- Sleep disorders
- Blood disorders
- Bone problems
What are the diagnostic tests and procedures ordered by Pediatricians?
Pediatricians perform many diagnostic tests and procedures themselves, or they may order them from other doctors, specialists, or healthcare workers. Some of the most common tests and procedures they perform include:
- Physical exams
- Genetic testing
- Blood tests
- Vitamin deficiency testing
- Autism testing
- Hearing tests
- Developmental screening
What are the different types of Pediatricians?
Pediatricians can choose to work in certain areas or focus on certain health problems and illnesses. They may study different sub-specialties to learn how to treat specific illnesses. Some of the different types of pediatricians include:
- Pediatric allergists
- Pediatric cardiologists
- Critical care pediatricians
- Pediatric dermatologists
- Development and behavioral pediatricians
- Emergency pediatricians
- Pediatric endocrinologists
- Pediatric gastroenterologists
- Pediatric oncologists
- Infectious disease pediatricians
- Pediatric neonatologists
- Pediatric nephrologists
- Pediatric pulmonologists
How do Pediatricians treat Childhood diseases?
Most pediatricians focus on preventing childhood diseases and illnesses. Because they treat such a wide range of illnesses, the treatments are focused on each specific issue or problem. Some of the ways they treat them include:
- Vaccinations: This helps prevent common illnesses like chicken pox and whooping cough, which can be dangerous for children.
- Vitamins: Vitamins can boost the immune system, ensure children are getting the nutrition they need, and help avoid vitamin deficiencies.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help treat illnesses caused by bacteria and infections.
- Pain medication: Pain medication can be given to children who are recovering from surgery or injury.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy can be used to treat childhood cancer and other health problems.
- Chemotherapy: This can be used to treat childhood cancer.
- Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to repair broken bones, remove tumors or appendixes, or to correct other health problems.
When to see a Pediatrician?
Anyone who has a child should take his or her child to a pediatrician for annual checkups. Most doctors suggest that babies are taken to a pediatrician within a week of being born. Some other reasons to take a child to a pediatrician include:
- Stomach pain
- Broken bones
- Digestion problems
- Painful lumps
- Sore throat
- Dizzy spells
- No appetite
- Mood changes
- Problems walking
- Slurred speech
- American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.aap.org/