Pediatrics is a medical specialty that involves dealing with medical and health care ranging from infancy up to 18 years of age. This medical specialty was developed in mid-19th century, and Abraham Jacobi (1830-1919) is referred to as the father of pediatrics. Pediatricians act as children’s primary doctor and provide preventive health services, as well as medical care for sick children. A pediatrician manages the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the children under their care at every stage of the child’s development, in both sickness and health. Some of the conditions that pediatricians treat include infections, organ dysfunctions and diseases, injuries, congenital and genetic conditions, and cancers.
Pediatrics is not only concerned with the immediate management of the sick child but also long-term effects on the child’s quality of life, survival, and disability. Pediatric involves early detection, and management of conditions including social stresses, behavioral problems, developmental disorders and delays, mental disorders including anxiety disorders and depression, and functional disabilities.
Pediatrics is a collaborative specialty, and pediatricians need to work closely with other healthcare professionals to assist children with medical conditions. Pediatrics pays more concern with developmental issues, genetic variance, and congenital defects. This specialty has several legal issues because children are considered minors who cannot make their own medical decisions. Therefore, pediatrics pays more attention to issues of legal responsibility, guardianship, informed consent, and privacy. Some of the subspecialties in pediatrics include Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Pediatric Cardiology, Critical care medicine, Hematology, Neonatal Medicine, Endocrinology and Pediatric Cardiology.
Pediatrics is crucial because pediatricians have expert training in the emotional, physical and behavioral needs of a child. Since pediatricians only see children, they have a broader experience in identifying and treating child illnesses. When a child is born that needs close monitoring, then a pediatrician may provide care that is more expert.
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