A brief overview of a paediatrician
A paediatrician is a physician catering to the health and medical needs of patients aged 21 and younger. They are also responsible for handling perturbed toddlers by making them feel safe and calm. They also answer sudden calls in the middle of the night about an ill child.
In short, they are specialists in giving younger patients (from birth to adulthood) medical care, which can be all the way until the age of 21, and at the very least up to their late teens.
They are blessed with the knowledge and skill to diagnose, treat and prevent common and uncommon diseases (& conditions) which affect the society’s young generation. On an average basis, they spend around 13 years of education and training to become a fully trained in the field.
The duty of paediatricians
The primary duty of paediatricians is to diagnose & treat ailments generally affecting infants, babies, children, adolescents and young adults, as well as helping them in helping maintain good health.
On a usual basis, paediatricians are primarily trained to:
- Diagnose & treat illnesses associated with children (typically).
- Addressing special medical needs of younger patients (like genetic defects, malignancies, childhood infections and injuries).
- Assessing proper treatment methodologies as per the patient’s specific age.
- Performing annual check-ups, routine checkups and vaccinations on patients.
- Checking whether or not is a child is experiencing normal growth & development.
- Recommending, ordering, organizing and compiling the needed tests, prescribing appropriate medications and performing medical procedures.
- Providing medical care to children who are either acutely or chronically ill.
- Working towards reducing infant & child mortality by huge margins.
A paediatrician is also involved with the early detection & management of other health issues that can affect the development, growth and safety of children. Behavioural difficulties, social stresses, development disorders, difficulties with basic functions, as well as anxiety disorders & depression are among those conditions.
Sub-specialities of paediatrics
Paediatrics, in short, is a speciality of medicine that is chiefly concerned with the physical, emotional and social health of children. There are also numerous further sub-specialities that a paediatrician may pursue to provide care to patients with more specific issues.
- Pediatric allergists treat & oversee the care of children having issues in their immune systems (like asthma, certain allergies to the environment, certain food items and medicines).
- Pediatric development experts treat infants and children with medical issues that affect their development, such as muscular dystrophy, physical deformities and ADHD.
- Pediatric dermatologists who specialize in primarily treating skin issues in children.
- Pediatric anesthesiologists assist in the management of infants and children undergoing surgical operations.
- Pediatric cardiologists are trained to perform echocardiograms on children having cardiac issues.
- Pediatric urologists perform genital & urinary tract surgery on infants and children (and often receive extra training for it).
How to Become a Pediatrician?
The minimum requirement to gain acceptance into a Medical school’s paediatrician program is at least 3 years of studies at a college or university. Most students come in with premed or a bachelor’s degree in relevant disciplines.
Students hoping to become a paediatrician upon starting an undergraduate program can choose to major in child psychology or another discipline which is associated with paediatrics. Then, they can take admission into a Doctor of Medicine (M.D) program or Doctor of Osteopathy (O.D) program.
The prime requirement for a medical student to become a paediatrician is the completion of the Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy. When an applicant is applying to medical school, they are often asked to send in their MCAT scores along with their application. The MCAT scores are a pre-requisite to admission in premed and medical school.
Completing this program at the American Medical School of the Caribbean usually takes 4 years to complete. Coursework during the first 2 years comprises training relating to anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, and medical ethics. The remaining two years of training are clinical sciences.
Clinical sciences help students learn to care for patients within a medical setting (a hospital or clinic) which takes place under the guidance and supervision of experienced physicians. Here, students are exposed to multiple specialities and among them are paediatrics.
Completing a residency in pediatric studies, a fellowship in a speciality, obtaining a license and getting certified by a board are the other remaining steps to help students graduate and become an exceptional paediatrician.