What is a pediatrician?
A pediatrician is a child's healthcare provider who provides:
Preventive health maintenance and ongoing monitoring for healthy children.
Medical care for children who are acutely or chronically ill.
Coordination of care for children after hospital discharge.
Pediatricians manage the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their patients.
This is in every stage of development, in good health or in illness.
Generally, pediatricians focus on babies, children, adolescents, and young adults
from birth to age 21 years to:
Reduce infant and child mortality.
Control infectious disease.
Foster healthy lifestyles.
Ease the difficulties of children and adolescents with chronic conditions.
Pediatricians diagnose and treat many different diseases, including:
However, pediatricians are concerned with more than physical well-being. They also
are involved with the prevention, early detection, and management of other problems
that affect children and adolescents, including the following:
Pediatrics is a collaborative specialty. They work with other medical specialists
and healthcare professionals to provide for the health and emotional needs of children.
Following graduation from medical school, primary care pediatricians complete 3 years
of education in an accredited pediatric residency program.
Pediatric residency training emphasizes care of the whole infant, child, adolescent,
and young adult. Following the pediatric residency, the pediatrician is eligible for
board certification by the American Board of Pediatrics with successful completion
of a comprehensive written examination. Recertification is required every 10 years.
Most pediatricians are involved in providing primary care for their patients. Many
others choose to continue their education through a fellowship in pediatric subspecialties,
such as the following: