A pediatrician and a little girl play doctor with a stuffed bear

Pediatrics Overview

If you want to become a pediatrician, it’s important to get an overview of what the pediatric specialty is like. Read about pediatric goals and the pediatric subspecialties that you can choose from below.

Pediatric Goals

Preventative Care
One of the main goals of the pediatric field is to provide preventative care to prevent serious diseases from spreading around the population in children. This helps to reduce the infant and child mortality rate. Generally speaking, preventative care is strongly related to making sure children get required immunizations and testing.

Fostering Healthy Lifestyles
Pediatricians seek to foster healthy lifestyles by talking with children and families about health as children grow up. They also track patients’ health practices as they grow up to encourage areas of improvement.

Tracking Childhood Developments
It’s important to make sure children are healthy as they develop, so doctors keep track of important information like height, weight, and puberty developments to make sure there aren’t any abnormalities and treat them if there are.

Treating and Diagnosing Illnesses
Children often get sick with viruses and other common illnesses when they’re young. Pediatricians seek to diagnose and treat these illnesses to ensure that these illnesses don’t get worse for children.

Pediatric Subspecialties

Allergy and Immunology
These pediatricians research and treat allergic reactions and child allergies relating to the respiratory and immune systems. They also treat and study allergic reactions due to foods and drugs.

These pediatricians provide care for patients with congenital or acquired cardiovascular or cardiac abnormalities and disorders.

Critical Care
Critical pediatricians focus on the treatment and care of infants and adolescents with severe illnesses or injuries that need constant levels of monitoring and/or serious surgeries.

Pediatric dermatologists treat children with skin disorders like dermatitis, skin infections, or abnormal moles and birthmarks.

Developmental and Behavioral
These pediatricians focus on caring for patients with developmental and behavioral disorders like autism or other disorders. They seek to ease the lifestyle and social stressors for the family and child.

Pediatric neurologists focus on issues and disorders relating to the brain, spinal chord, and peripheral nerve in infants, children, and adolescents. They may treat children with migraines or cerebral palsy as well as children with complex and severe neurological disorders.

Pediatric oncology is the field concerned with providing care and treatment for patients with various types of cancer. Pediatric oncologists focus on treating children with cancer and helping guide their families through the difficult process of treating cancer.

General Surgery
A generalist subspecialty, general surgery pediatricians can perform a number of surgeries for children and adolescents and may work with other specialists depending on the issue with the patients. 

Last Updated: April 15, 2015