A pediatrician is a medical doctor who specializes in the care of children. Interestingly enough, the study of medicine from a child’s perspective is relatively new on the world’s stage – the first children’s hospital was created in 1802.
1. It’s a Specialized Specialty
Being a pediatrician is considered a specialty in the medical field. This is further enhanced if a pediatrician decides to focus on one particular area, such as neurology. In this case the doctor would be a specialized specialist.
2. There’s a Cutoff Age
Children gain their own medical authority at the age of 16, rather than 18. This is the normal age that pediatricians stop seeing patients. They focus on patients that need parental consent.
3. Get the GP
Before seeing a pediatrician, most households will actually see their general practitioner. This is because the added cost of seeing a pediatrician isn’t necessary in order to prescribe medications, apply bandages, or even sew up a nasty little cut. The pediatrician steps in to help when there’s a chronic problem that won’t respond to other treatments.
4. That’s a Long Time
For the average pediatrician, it takes 11 years of schooling to become licensed. This includes 4 years of schooling at a college or university, 4 years of medical school, which is followed by a 12 month internship in pediatrics and a 2 year stint in residence.
Pediatricians will monitor the vaccination records of all children in the families that they have agreed to see. Although some anti-vaccine groups have begun to pop up around the world, vaccines have done a lot to help remove very harmful diseases from humanity. Polio, smallpox, and others were virtually eliminated until vaccine resistance groups began to form.
6. It’s Proactive
Many pediatricians focus on proactive treatments in order to stop a disease before it starts. These treatments begin with vaccines, but will also include behavioral and physical development as well. If a child’s growth charts begin to show declines in their curves, then interventions may happen to correct these problems.
7. Make a Choice
If you know that you will be having a child, either from being born or through adoption, you can select a pediatrician before his/her arrival. Make an appointment with any potential pediatricians and discuss what your needs will be. This will help you locate a doctor in a sometimes extremely competitive health care environment.
8. That’s a Lot
In the United States, the average pediatrician makes about $150k per year annually. It is pretty common for a standard work week for a pediatrician to be at least 70 hours.