The healthcare needs of children differ considerably from those of adults. There are specially trained physicians known as pediatricians who treat infants, children, and adolescents. So what should you expect from pediatrics? This post provides insights on pediatricians, their qualifications, procedures, and how to best select one.
Who is a Pediatrician?
Pediatricians are qualified doctors who focus on providing healthcare for children. Thus, pediatric care starts from pregnancy until a child becomes a legal adult. Pediatricians understand that children change physically and mentally, and therefore, they assess their health needs based on their age. The majority of pediatricians provide primary care services. Then there are specialist pediatricians focused on specific medical conditions. Pediatric specialists include critical care pediatricians, pediatric oncologists, pediatric cardiologists, pediatric rheumatologists, pediatric pulmonologists, pediatric neurologists, and pediatric dentists.
What do Pediatricians Do?
Pediatric care consists of various healthcare services ranging from screening to treatment.
Pediatrics perform the following medical procedures:
- Conduct physical exams
- Diagnose and treat diseases and injuries
- Evaluate the physical, emotional, and social development of a child
- Give vaccinations
- Prescribe medications
- Provide health education
What are the Qualifications of a Pediatrician?
Pediatricians undergo extensive education and training. Firstly, a pediatrician completes undergraduate training. Then, one attends further education in a medical school to study anatomy and physiology. Some schools condense undergraduate and medical school into a combined study program. Next, the pediatricians enter a pediatric residency program to gain experience and skills on different conditions affecting children.
Upon completing the residency program, a pediatrician may start general care practice or attend a fellowship program to become a specialist. Besides, pediatricians have to obtain a state license to practice. There is also the option of getting a board certification and continuous professional education.
How to Select a Pediatrician
For starters, consider whether or not the doctors' office location is convenient. Choosing a pediatrician closer to your residence, work, and school can save time during an emergency. Also, check for the credentials and experience as a testament to their medical knowledge and patient care. Then, prepare some questions for the pediatrician. For instance, does the office require an appointment or offer same-day appointments? What are their office hours? Is it a group or individual practice, and what are the specialties? What are the pediatric care services offered? Lastly, get recommendations from your primary care physician, friends, and family.
Selecting a pediatrician is a critical decision for any parent, given that they are responsible for your child's healthcare. You can expect a pediatrician to provide medical care for your child until they become adults. Nevertheless, look for qualifications, professionalism, and convenience when choosing pediatrics. Contact a local pediatric clinic to learn more.