One quick thing before I get into this week’s post: In my last post, I mentioned when I wanted to be a doctor, but I never said why.  I was born with a “hole in my heart”; mine is a VSD. My “hole” was so big it would never close on its own. So, a month before I turned 11, I had open heart surgery to fix it. My surgeon did such an awesome job, it’s like the hole never existed. He is still practicing. Hopefully none of your children will need his services, but if so, he is the best!  Ok, on to this week’s post:

Why Choose a Pediatrician?

kids playing doc

Pediatricians are doctors concerned with the physical, emotional, and social health of children from birth to young adulthood. Pediatricians provide health services ranging from preventive health care/checkups to the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. A pediatrician will: Do physical exams. Give your child recommended immunizations. Make sure your child is meeting developmental milestones in growth, behavior, and skills. Diagnose and treat your child’s illnesses, infections, injuries, and other health problems. Give you information about your child’s health, safety, nutrition, and fitness needs. Answer your questions about your child’s growth and development. Refer to and collaborate with specialists should your child need care beyond the pediatrician’s expertise.

Pediatricians understand the many factors that affect the growth and development of children. They understand that children are not simply small adults. Children change rapidly, so pediatricians take into account their stage of physical and mental development. They often present different symptoms from adults. They may need different prescriptions or treatments than adults. Pediatricians are specially trained to recognize the importance of these differences, especially with young children and newborns.

Because the welfare of children and adolescents is heavily dependent on the home and family, the pediatrician supports efforts to create a nurturing environment. Such support includes education about healthful living and guidance for both patients and parents. Pediatricians participate in the community to prevent or solve problems in child and adolescent healthcare, and they serve as advocates for children and adolescents.

Why Do You Need a Pediatrician?

Family physicians can also provide routine care for children. Choosing between a family doctor and a pediatrician can be a personal preference. Here are some reasons to consider choosing a pediatrician:

  • Pediatricians have specialized training in the physical, emotional, and behavioral needs of children.
  • Pediatricians only see children, so they often have a broader experience recognizing and treating childhood illnesses.
  • If your child was born early or has a health condition that needs close monitoring, a pediatrician may offer more specialized care.

Pediatricians are therefore primarily concerned with the health, welfare, and development of children and adolescents from birth to age 21; they are uniquely qualified to provide care for children because of their specialized training and concern for their well-being. Pediatricians have graduated from medical school and completed a three-year residency program in pediatrics.