Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that focuses on infants, children, and adolescents from birth up to the age of 18. Certain pediatricians can provide medical care for young adults from birth to the age of 21 based on where they’re in the area. While pediatricians can still oversee the health of young patients throughout adolescence, and many parents are comfortable sending their children to a specialist in treating teenagers.
Other doctors provide care to young adults until they have completed secondary school. Certain pediatricians work in hospitals, and some work in private practice as primary medical doctors.
The Brief History of Pediatrics
Since the beginning of Greek times, doctors have been providing medical services to patients of all ages. However, pediatrics is a relatively new area of medicine, having only emerged in the late 19th century. It was obvious right from the start that children require special health care that adults do not.
Traditional doctors have provided medical care for patients of any age, from young to older people, with little particularization. Texts from the past like the Ebers papyrus written in 1552 BCE discussed various topics like breastfeeding, curing for worms, and treating ocular diseases. Hippocrates also wrote about pediatric health concerns around 400 BCE, including cephalhematomas, diarrhea, hydrocephalus, and mumps.
The field of pediatrics that is now in use can be traced back to prominent historical figures from the field, such as Dr. Abraham Jacobi. He is a German who arrived in New York in 1853 and is considered to be the father of pediatrics in America. He founded several organizations dedicated to pediatric health and departments for children in the hospitals of New York.
What’s the Difference Between Pediatrics and Adult Medicine?
Pediatrics differs from adult medicine in many ways. The most significant distinction is that treating children differs from treating adults due to the physiological difference between the body of a young child and the adult’s body.
Genetic variation, congenital disorders, and developmental issues are a greater concern for pediatricians than physicians treating adults. Pediatrics also has several legal issues as children are minors and cannot make decisions in most states. Privacy, guardianship, legal responsibility, and informed consent are some of the issues to consider for each pediatric procedure.
What Does a Pediatrician Do?
A pediatrician is a doctor for children who provides medical treatment and preventive health care services to children. Pediatricians oversee and supervise children’s mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being under their care at every stage of development.
Pediatricians are experts in the field of health for children. They can assist children who have a range of health issues. They provide various health-related treatments, including assessments and screenings for health and managing complex medical conditions.
Typically, pediatricians use a variety of procedures, including physical exams, vaccinations, injury treatment, medication prescription, health guidance for children, and treatment and diagnosis of different diseases.
The Goals of Pediatrics
The field of study in pediatrics is to lower infant and toddler deaths, prevent the spread of infections in children, help promote healthy lifestyles to live a long life without illness and help ease kids and teens suffering from chronic diseases.
Pediatricians can diagnose and treat various conditions in children, including injuries, infections, genetic and congenital disorders and others.
Pediatrics also deal with the immediate and long-term effects of disease on children and their quality of life, disability, and longevity. Pediatricians are involved with preventing, detecting, and treating ailments such as:
- Disorders and delays in development
- Problems with behavioral issues
- Functional disabilities
- Social stresses
The Role of Pediatricians During Childhood
A pediatrician plays a big contribution to a child’s overall health, especially regarding their physical and mental development. They provide the basic medical services a child needs and screen the child for potential issues. In many cases, delays in diagnosing the problem could hinder a child’s growth or worsen the health problem already in place.
Pediatricians keep the medical records of patients. They also maintain their growth charts. This is used to find any issues with the child’s growth and provide the most appropriate treatment.
A pediatrician will conduct an extensive physical examination of the child. This is more than just observing the functions of the body. An extensive physical examination could provide the doctor with information about a myriad of health problems that a child could be experiencing, for example, problems with hormones or immunity. A child’s health and treatment can be affected if a pediatrician fails to recognize a symptom.
Pediatricians can serve as an intermediary between parents and pediatric specialists, in addition to this. Children are guided and counseled by pediatricians. This may prepare them for treatment. Parents can get help from pediatricians to appreciate the significance of their child’s mental health and offer direction. For answers to any concerns parents might have regarding their child’s health, they can contact pediatricians.
How are Pediatricians Trained?
Like practitioners in different fields of medicine, such as a neurologist in Manila, pediatricians need to have extensive training and education and a license before they can start in their specialization to practice medicine.
According to the American Board of Pediatrics, any doctor who would like to become a doctor in the field of pediatrics must undergo a three-year residency in pediatrics after graduating from medical school and then obtaining a license.
When they complete their residency, some pediatricians enter general practice. Some pediatricians choose to enroll in fellowship programs that provide further training in pediatric subspecialties.
Some pediatricians also take further steps to become board-certified in pediatrics, where they are required to take rigorous exams and continue their professional education throughout their careers. Pediatric subspecialists and pediatricians must be up-to-date on the latest medical information to be able to practice medicine.
Collaboration with Other Specialists
Pediatrics is a specialty that works in collaboration with other medical specialists. Pediatricians collaborate with other medical professionals, healthcare specialists, and pediatric subspecialists to address ailments and health issues.
There are many kinds and types of pediatricians. For instance, some general pediatricians focus on primary care and the general needs of children. Certain pediatricians specialize in certain areas, like:
As adolescents face social and academic pressures, they are in the critical stage of development and change. They may also be afflicted with life-threatening diseases and illnesses, habits, and behaviors. Health specialists for adolescents have been trained to assist teenagers and young adults between the ages of 11 to 21 with their complicated physical, behavioral, and emotional medical needs like physical exams, immunizations, sexual and reproductive health, and mental health treatment.
A pediatric cardiologist can be described as a physician trained to diagnose and treat heart conditions for children.
Child Abuse Pediatrics
These pediatricians have special training and experience, and expertise in assessing children who might be victims of a particular type of abuse or neglect.
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
A hospital-based pediatric critical care specialist can provide special care for children who are in an unstable critical condition due to serious illnesses or injuries.
Pediatric specialists are trained and experience in considering the medical and psychosocial aspects of behavioral and developmental issues in adolescents and children. This includes a broad range of specializations such as behavior disorders, learning disorders like tics, regulatory issues like feeding difficulties and difficulties with discipline, developmental disorders like cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorders, and delayed growth in children. It also includes the development and behavioral challenges associated with the full spectrum of pediatric chronic diseases and disabilities.
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
These specialists concentrate on the emergency treatment of children who are severely injured or sick.
Pediatric endocrinologists deal with puberty, growth or diabetes problems, or disorders related to the glands and hormones that produce these hormones.
These specialists offer care to children and adolescents who are suffering from digestive issues.
This specialist focuses on blood-related cancers and disorders in children.
Pediatric Hospital Medicine
Pediatric hospitalists primarily work at hospitals in which they look after children throughout the hospital. This includes pediatric acute care areas, including the newborn nursery, emergency department, and labor and delivery. Additionally, there are neonatal or pediatric intensive care units.
Pediatric Infectious Diseases
The specialists focus on investigating and treating children who suffer from congenital or acquired problems with the immune system. This includes those caused by bacteria, parasites, fungi, or any other uncommon infections.
They focus on providing baby care before or during, and after birth. They can also care for babies who are sick or premature infants.
They specialize in treating problems associated with the urinary tract, including kidney infections and urinary tract illnesses.
Specialists in this field treat and manage neurologic disorders in children. A few neurological conditions that are diagnosed in childhood can persist into adulthood. From diagnosis to adolescence, neurologists in pediatrics oversee the care of their patients.
Pediatric pulmonologists focus on helping children who suffer from breathing or lung problems.
They specialize in treating children with autoimmune diseases. This is a condition in which the immune system can attack healthy cells. Rheumatic conditions can cause joint pains, fevers, eruptions, and the involvement of internal organs.
This pediatric specialization is focused on occupational and physical therapy for children.
Pediatric specialists are trained in diagnosing and treating pediatric diseases. A pediatric cardiologist or pediatric heart specialist has the experience and understanding to treat the heart issues of children. They may have also been trained in various tests and procedures to assess the heart.
Sometimes, primary care pediatricians may not have the experience or credentials required to manage difficult medical ailments. They can send the child to a suitable pediatric specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
What Is the Best Time to See a Pediatrician?
The CDC, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stated that at least 1 out of 6 children between 3-17 years old suffer from one issue involving their development and behavior, like autism, a learning disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Furthermore, some children experience issues with language or other areas, affecting their performance in school. Many children with developmental issues are not identified until they start school; this could be a sign of substantial delays in time. Early identification and treatment for these issues could lead to better outcomes for young children in the long term.
Parents and caregivers can take their child to a pediatrician regularly for well-child visits. It is a chance for them to ask any questions about their child’s health. Pediatricians are also able to administer vaccinations to the child during the visits if needed.
At a wellness visit, the doctor will assess the child’s physical as well as emotional development. When they look at their health, there may also be questions regarding eating habits, sleeping, and social habits. Pediatricians also can inform parents and teachers about the possible indicators that indicate an issue with their physical or mental health.
Additionally, parents or caregivers who have ongoing concerns about their child’s health should rely on pediatrics Manila.
If a child is suffering from a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius or is experiencing seizures, confusion, breathing difficulties, or crying constantly, they should be taken to an emergency room. It is important to contact emergency services when babies younger than two months are suffering from a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius.
Parents or caregivers who suspect your child may be suffering from a medical emergency should visit the nearest emergency room.
Why Should You Have a Pediatrician?
The primary difference between a pediatrician and a family doctor is that pediatricians specialize in treating infants and teenagers, children, and babies. Family doctors can also provide care for adults within the family. Deciding between a doctor for families and a pediatrician comes down to personal preference. While some might prefer the same physician like others see all family members, some may prefer doctors solely focused on children.
It is up to you to decide whether to choose a pediatrician or a doctor. The choice could also come down to which doctor will make you feel the most at ease. Before you decide whether to visit a general practitioner or a pediatrician, consider some of these points:
- Are they well-respected?
- What’s the doctor’s experience, training, and experience?
- Does the child have to visit the same doctor each time?
- Are you able to work in a comfortable environment?
- How long does it take to schedule an appointment?
- What are their working hours?
- What’s the best method to get them in an emergency?
- Which hospital is it affiliated with?
- How do you handle billing?
- How friendly and helpful is the staff?
Aside from these, here are some reasons to consider when choosing a pediatrician for your child
Pediatricians have been trained in dealing with the emotional, physical, and behavioral needs of children.
Pediatricians often have more experience diagnosing and treating child-related illnesses.
A pediatrician can provide more specialized care if your baby is born prematurely or suffers from a medical condition that requires close monitoring.
How Does a Pediatrician Work with a Delivery Team?
Most hospitals ask if a mother has an appointment with a pediatrician before delivery. The baby could have her first exam with an in-hospital pediatrician or the preferred pediatrician of the parent. It mostly depends on hospital policies, whether the pediatrician makes rounds when they deliver the baby, and whether the baby was born early.
Suppose the baby is born too early and is premature. In that case, they should visit the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, where highly specialized NICU doctors and nurses take care of the baby and monitor their progress until they are fully developed.
A pediatrician can be described as a physician who has been trained to treat children and infants. Some pediatricians are primary-care doctors, while some specialize in treating and caring for certain childhood health issues.
The availability of family medicine doctors in your area could impact choosing between a pediatrician and a family doctor. The decision may also be based on whether you wish your child to be monitored by the same physician into adulthood. It is essential to choose an experienced pediatric doctor you can have confidence in to ensure that your child can start regular wellness visits even if you are pregnant.
When your child moves to a doctor specializing in treating adults, a trusting relationship with a caring pediatric doctor is essential during the childhood years.
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