About Pediatric Medicine
Pediatric medicine deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. In the United States, this generally applies to children ages birth to 18 years. Pediatric physicians are referred to as pediatricians. As you might expect, because of the physiological and emotional differences that exist between adults and children, pediatricians undergo specialized training that equips them to effectively meet the health needs of young patients.
How Pediatric Medicine is Different from Adult Medicine
Pediatric medicine isn't as simple as "miniaturized" adult medicine. Aside from the obvious body size differences that exist between pediatric and adult patients, there are a number of other issues that come into play. Because most pediatric patients are still physically developing while under their care, pediatricians must pay special attention to growth and developmental issues that are not typically present in adult patients. These considerations significantly impact the course of care prescribed by pediatric health specialists when compared to treatments for adults facing similar conditions.
Pediatric medicine primarily deals with the health care of minors, so the issue of patient consent is one of great importance to pediatricians. In the United States, a parent or legal guardian must give permission for a pediatrician to provide care for the children in their custody. Ideally this need for consent doesn't interfere with the welfare of the child, but it's always something that pediatric care professionals must be aware of and sensitive to.
Lastly, because pediatric patients are constantly maturing intellectually, emotionally, and socially—as well as physically—pediatricians must be able to handle the challenges associated with these changes effectively. While all doctors must frequently navigate patient emotion and personalities, when it comes to caring for children, this is can be especially complex. Pediatricians must possess tremendous patience and empathy to communicate successfully with children and their families to ensure that the best possible care is provided in the office and at home.
Pediatric Health Resources
All of our pediatricians are Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP). HealthyChildren.org is a website developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help those caring for children from birth to young adulthood find useful information on a wide variety of topics specific to pediatric health. From proper nutrition and health issues to family relationships and even school performance, this website is filled with trustworthy insights, facts, and advice provided by pediatric professionals to ensure the health of kids and their families.
You can access the site by visiting www.healthychildren.org.