Pediatrics is the medical specialty which focuses on the providing care of infants and children under the age of 18 years old. Skilled in assessment for developmental and/or physical concerns, a pediatrician focuses on prevention, detection, and management of physical, behavioral, developmental, and social problems that affect children.
Pediatricians diagnose and treat infections, injuries, and many types of disease and dysfunction. They administer common health screens such as vision tests, developmental tests, and blood lead tests. They work to reduce infant and child mortality, foster healthful lifestyles, and ease the day-to-day difficulties of those with chronic conditions. They appreciate the vulnerability of childhood and adolescence, and actively advocate for measures to protect their health and safety.
Simply put, Pediatricians take care of children. This might involve treating an ear infection, talking to parents about school or behavioral problems or seeing children for well-child checkups and giving them their shots. It can also include application of a fluoride varnish to the teeth of young children to ensure good oral health in later years.
Pediatricians typically complete 11 years of training to become a pediatrician, including:
- 4 years of college
- 4 years of medical school
- 1 year of an internship in pediatrics
- 2 years of a pediatric residency
Board certification is awarded by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Subspecialties of Pediatrics
Pediatricians can undergo additional training to further subspecialize. These subspecialties include:
Neonatologists care for newborn infants who require special care due to illness or premature birth. Usually the patients are treated inside a neonatal intensive care unit within a hospital.
These doctors study children and adolescents who suffer from developmental disorders or mental disorders that are a result of illness or injury.
Pediatric ophthalmologists treat vision problems in children. This can include infections or glaucoma.
These doctors treat a number of disorders that are linked to the endocrine glands. This includes diabetes, but can also involve treating children who are intersex or suffer from physical growth or sexual development problems.
Pediatric oncologists treat children up to 14 years of age who suffer from cancer.
This type of doctor focuses on treating young patients with some form of respiratory disease. Pediatric pulmonology includes the treatment of such conditions as pneumonia, asthma and tuberculosis.
Reasons for a Pediatrician Visit
Pediatricians are trained to treat child patients who suffer from a variety of conditions, such as:
- Allergies and asthma
- Celiac disease
- Fetal alcohol syndrome
- A spectrum disorder or other developmental delays
- Hay fever
- Influenza and the common cold
- Other illness or injury
Services provided by pediatricians also include:
- Physical exams, especially those required prior to beginning school or athletics
- Routine wellness care
Stages of Growth
Pediatricians care for their patients from infancy all the way through early and middle childhood and into adolescence. Patients experience physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral growth during each of these stages and it is important for pediatricians to monitor these milestones.
A pediatrician can determine whether a baby suffers from physical defects during infancy. Doctors will also check infants for signs of normal growth and weight gain as well as physical milestones, such as the ability to hold their heads upright and the ability to smile. Infants will learn to make sounds and, after a few months, will learn to crawl and hold objects. During this time, children should receive regular wellness check-ups, as well as vaccinations.
At this stage, children can learn to walk and then run. They also begin to speak. Most children with autism are diagnosed during early childhood after failing to meet some of these milestones. Regular vaccinations continue during this stage.
As children grow, their speech patterns develop. During this stage they reach a new level of independence and can feed and dress themselves. There are additional vaccinations for children around the age of 5.
Aside from reaching puberty, adolescents will also undergo rapid cognitive development, especially in the areas of attention, memory, processing speed, organization and metacognition. Usually after the age of 18, patients will begin to see physicians who specialize in treating adults. Around 12 years of age, patients will receive the last of their vaccinations.
Caduceus 4 Kids
At Caduceus Medical Group, our pediatric physicians focus on providing care for infants and children under 18. Our board certified staff is skilled in the prevention, detection, and management of the physical, behavioral, developmental, and social problems that affect children.
Come and visit our caring staff, no appointment necessary (walk-ins welcome), for these complaints and more:
- Ear infections/pain/ hearing issues
- Vision tests, developmental tests, blood tests
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain and diarrhea
- Chest pain
- Cold and flu
- Urination problems
- Eye problems
- Feet problems
- Skin rashes
- Throat aches and issues
- Breathing problems
- Pain in arms or legs
Our process insures that you wait less and feel better sooner! All patient forms can be done online to minimize wait time at the office because we care about your comfort.
Access to all is the cornerstone of our philosophy at Caduceus Medical Group. We take most forms of insurance and offer discounted cash pricing for those uninsured or underinsured. Caduceus is participating in all plans and tier levels of the state exchange, Covered California, and we would be happy to walk you through the process.