Pediatrics

Pediatrics

Overview
Pediatrics or paediatrics is the branch of medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 that deals with the medical care of infant
Infant
A newborn or baby is the very young offspring of a human or other mammal. A newborn is an infant who is within hours, days, or up to a few weeks from birth. In medical contexts, newborn or neonate refers to an infant in the first 28 days after birth...

s, child
Child
Biologically, a child is generally a human between the stages of birth and puberty. Some vernacular definitions of a child include the fetus, as being an unborn child. The legal definition of "child" generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority...

ren, and adolescents. A medical practitioner
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 who specializes in this area is known as a pediatrician or paediatrician. The word pediatrics and its cognates mean healer of children; they derive from two Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 words: (pais = child) and (iatros = doctor or healer).

There may be other differences in spelling: in the USA, a pediatrician (US spelling) is often a primary care physician
General practitioner
A general practitioner is a medical practitioner who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education for all ages and both sexes. They have particular skills in treating people with multiple health issues and comorbidities...

 who specializes in children, whereas in the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 a paediatrician (British spelling) generally is a medical specialist not in primary general practice.
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Encyclopedia
Pediatrics or paediatrics is the branch of medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 that deals with the medical care of infant
Infant
A newborn or baby is the very young offspring of a human or other mammal. A newborn is an infant who is within hours, days, or up to a few weeks from birth. In medical contexts, newborn or neonate refers to an infant in the first 28 days after birth...

s, child
Child
Biologically, a child is generally a human between the stages of birth and puberty. Some vernacular definitions of a child include the fetus, as being an unborn child. The legal definition of "child" generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority...

ren, and adolescents. A medical practitioner
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 who specializes in this area is known as a pediatrician or paediatrician. The word pediatrics and its cognates mean healer of children; they derive from two Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 words: (pais = child) and (iatros = doctor or healer).

There may be other differences in spelling: in the USA, a pediatrician (US spelling) is often a primary care physician
General practitioner
A general practitioner is a medical practitioner who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education for all ages and both sexes. They have particular skills in treating people with multiple health issues and comorbidities...

 who specializes in children, whereas in the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 a paediatrician (British spelling) generally is a medical specialist not in primary general practice. For further detail, see discussion on the broad and narrow meanings.

History



Pediatrics is a relatively new medical specialty, developing only in the mid19th century. Abraham Jacobi
Abraham Jacobi
Abraham Jacobi was a pioneer of pediatrics, opening the first children's clinic in the United States. To date, he is the only foreign born president of the American Medical Association.-Biography:...

 (1830–1919) is known as the father of pediatrics because of his many contributions to the field. He was born in Germany, where he received his medical training, but later practiced in New York City.

Soraneus in Greece
Roman Greece
Roman Greece is the period of Greek history following the Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC until the reestablishment of the city of Byzantium and the naming of the city by the Emperor Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire...

 in the 2nd century AD wrote the first known manuscript devoted to pediatrics. Rhazes
Razi
- People :* Abu Hatim Muhammad ibn Idris al-Razi, hadith scholar, died 890.* Abu Hatim Ahmad ibn Hamdan al-Razi, Isma'ili theologian and philosopher, died c. 934.* Amin Razi, 16th-century Persian geographer...

 (865–925) in Persia wrote a work entitled The Diseases of Children. The first printed book on pediatrics was in Italian (1472) – Bagallarder's Little Book on Disease in Children.

In the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

, the first generally accepted pediatric hospital is the Hôpital des Enfants Malades (French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

: Hospital for Sick Children), which opened in Paris in June 1802 on the site of a previous orphanage. From its beginning, this famous hospital accepted patients up to the age of fifteen years, and it continues to this day as the pediatric division of the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital
Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital
The Hôpital Necker – Enfants Malades is a French teaching hospital, located in Paris, France. It is an hospital of the Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris group, and is affiliated to the University of Paris Descartes...

, created in 1920 by merger with the physically contiguous Necker Hospital, founded in 1778.

This example was only gradually followed in other European countries. The Charité
Charité
The Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin is the medical school for both the Humboldt University and the Free University of Berlin. After the merger with their fourth campus in 2003, the Charité is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe....

 (a hospital founded in 1710) in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 established a separate Paediatric Pavilion in 1830, followed by similar institutions at Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 in 1834, and at Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and Breslau (now Wrocław), both in 1837. The English-speaking world waited until 1852 for its first pediatric hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children is a children's hospital located in London, United Kingdom...

, some fifty years after the founding of its namesake in Paris. In the USA, the first similar institutions were the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the largest and oldest children's hospitals in the world. CHOP has been ranked as the best children's hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report and Parents Magazine in recent years. As of 2008, it was ranked #1 in the nation for...

, which opened in 1855, and then Boston Children's Hospital (1869).

Training of pediatricians


The training of pediatricians varies considerably across the world.
Depending on jurisdiction and university, a medical degree course may be either undergraduate-entry or graduate-entry. The former commonly takes five or six years, and has been usual in the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

. Entrants to graduate-entry courses (as in the USA), usually lasting four or five years, have previously completed a three- or four-year university degree, commonly but by no means always in sciences. Medical graduates hold a degree specific to the country and university in and from which they graduated. This degree qualifies that medical practitioner to become licensed or registered under the laws of that particular country, and sometimes of several countries, subject to requirements for "internship
Medical intern
A medical intern is a term used in the United States for a physician in training who has completed medical school. An intern has a medical degree, but does not have a full license to practice medicine unsupervised...

" or "conditional registration".
Pediatricians must undertake further training in their chosen field. This may take from four to eight or more years, (depending on jurisdiction and the degree of specialization). The post-graduate training for a primary care physician
Primary care physician
A primary care physician, or PCP, is a physician/medical doctor who provides both the first contact for a person with an undiagnosed health concern as well as continuing care of varied medical conditions, not limited by cause, organ system, or diagnosis....

, including primary care pediatricians, is generally not as lengthy as for a hospital-based medical specialist.
In most jurisdictions, entry-level degrees are common to all branches of the medical profession, but in some jurisdictions, specialization in pediatrics may begin before completion of this degree. In some jurisdictions, pediatric training is begun immediately following completion of (see below) rather than universities, with varying degrees of government input, depending on jurisdiction.

Social role of pediatric specialists


Like other medical practitioners
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

, pediatricians are traditionally considered to be members of a learned profession
Profession
A profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain....

, because of the extensive training requirements, and also because of the occupation's special ethical and legal duties.

A common misconception is that pediatricians enjoy high social status
Social status
In sociology or anthropology, social status is the honor or prestige attached to one's position in society . It may also refer to a rank or position that one holds in a group, for example son or daughter, playmate, pupil, etc....

, often combined with expectations of a high and stable income and job security
Job security
Job security is the probability that an individual will keep his or her job; a job with a high level of job security is such that a person with the job would have a small chance of becoming unemployed.-Factors affecting job security:...

. However, pediatric medical practitioners in general often work long and inflexible hours, with shifts at unsociable times, and may earn less than other professionals whose education is of comparable length. Neonatologists
Neonatology
Neonatology is a subspecialty of pediatrics that consists of the medical care of newborn infants, especially the ill or premature newborn infant. It is a hospital-based specialty, and is usually practiced in neonatal intensive care units...

 or general pediatricians in hospital practice are often on call at unsociable times for perinatal problems in particular—such as for Cesarean section or other high risk births
Childbirth
Childbirth is the culmination of a human pregnancy or gestation period with the birth of one or more newborn infants from a woman's uterus...

, and for the care of ill newborn infants.

See also

  • Children's hospital
    Children's hospital
    A children's hospital is a hospital which offers its services exclusively to children . The number of children's hospitals proliferated in the 20th century, as pediatric medical and surgical specialties separated from internal medicine and adult surgical specialties...

  • Medical specialty
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
    Pediatric ophthalmology
    Pediatric ophthalmology is a sub-speciality of ophthalmology concerned with eye diseases, visual development, and vision care in children.-Training:...

  • Pediatric endocrinology
    Pediatric endocrinology
    Pediatric endocrinology is a medical subspecialty dealing with variations of physical growth and sexual development in childhood, as well as diabetes and other disorders of the endocrine glands....

  • Child life specialist
    Child life specialist
    Child life specialists are pediatric health care professionals who work with patients, their family and others involved in the child’s care in order to help them manage stress and understand medical and various procedures...

  • Pain in babies
    Pain in babies
    Pain in babies, and whether babies feel pain, has been the subject of debate within the medical profession for centuries. Prior to the late nineteenth century it was generally considered that babies hurt more easily than adults...

  • Childhood inactivity and obesity in the United States
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
    American Academy of Pediatrics
    The American Academy of Pediatrics is the major professional association of pediatricians in the United States. The AAP was founded in 1930 by 35 pediatricians to address pediatric healthcare standards. It currently has 60,000 members in primary care and sub-specialist areas...

  • Center on Media and Child Health
    Center on Media and Child Health
    The Center on Media and Child Health is a non-profit organization based at Children’s Hospital Boston. CMCH was founded in 2002, by Dr...

    (CMCH)

Further reading


External links