A pediatrician holds a baby

What is a Pediatrician?

A pediatrician is a specialist physician who focuses on the care and treatment of infants, children, and teens under the age of 18. Pediatricians typically work in private practices, medical centers, or hospitals. They spend most of their working hours seeing patients, working with families, and focusing on preventative care for children.

Pediatricians do a number of things for patients. Their main objectives are to reduce infant and child mortality, control infectious diseases, foster healthy lifestyles, and ease the difficulties that children with chronic disorders may have. They diagnose and treat illnesses, infections, injuries, and genetic diseases. They also work to diagnose and detect early behavioral problems like developmental disorders, social stresses, anxiety and depression disorders, and functional issues in children.

Not only are pediatricians concerned with treating illnesses and injuries of their patients; they are also very much concerned with preventative healthcare. All children are required to have a primary care pediatrician to ensure that children are given the proper immunizations required by law, such as tetanus, hepatitis, and measles.

Treating a child is different than treating an adult. Physiologically, children are developing and growing in ways that adults are not. These differences require the special care that pediatricians provide. Pediatricians help families and other physicians keep track of the developmental progress of children. This also means that the tasks they do on a daily basis are greatly varied. They may treat infants who need immunizations, diagnose ear infections for a 6-year-old, prescribe birth control for a 16-year old, and perform routine physical exams – all in one morning of a typical work day.

Choosing a career is an important step in your life, so it’s important to know what it takes to become a pediatrician. Pediatricians, like other physicians, go through four years of college, four years of medical school, a one-year internship, and residency years, in which they work on their pediatric specialty. If you want to become a pediatrician, it’s not enough to be passionate about working with infants, children, and teens. You also need to have the brains and the work ethic to make it through tough natural science classes and rigorous medical school curriculum.

Pediatricians often work well over 40 hours per week and spend most of their days moving around and standing on their feet. If you want to be a pediatrician, you must be prepared to work hard every day. The good news is that a career as a pediatrician pays very well. If you’re prepared for the hard work and you love working with children, being a pediatrician may be the career for you!

Last Updated: April 15, 2015