A doctor for kids is known as a pediatrician. To become a pediatrician, you must complete medical school, internships and residency requirements, similar to other physicians and surgeons. Pediatricians typically complete the internships and residencies in a childcare hospital or medical practice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that pediatricians earned an average salary of $167,640 a year as of May 2012.
A main duty of pediatricians is to provide wellness checkups for patients, particularly young babies and toddlers. These are periodic appointments where the pediatrician gauges whether a child is developing at the right pace physically, mentally and emotionally. Pediatricians also see patients ranging from birth to age 21 for regular diagnostic appointments. These appointments typically involve basic cold and flu symptoms, fever, injuries and other non-emergency care.
Following patient assessment, pediatricians offer advice, treatment recommendations or remedies, depending on the patient's needs. For basic illnesses, pediatricians often prescribe medications or treatments for home care. If a patient has a modest injury or bleeding, the doctor or her nurse might provide immediate on-site care. In more critical cases where a patient is suffering from a significant illness or has a major injury requiring surgery, the pediatrician refers the patient to a specialist or hospital.
Research and Learning
Part of a pediatrician's job is to stay up on current trends in child health care. Along with earning a license in the state where they practice, pediatricians must also meet state-mandated continuing education requirements. On top of training and courses, pediatricians also read medical journals and other publications from medical professionals. Some also perform their own research and publish the findings in journals, or use it to teach college courses.
Pediatricians must also oversee certain administrative tasks. Each patient visit requires completing paperwork to update patient files and process insurance claims. This work is usually handled by an assistant. Patient files help in tracking prescription use and treatments. Pediatricians typically delegate the responsibility to a nurse or assistant to call pharmacists for prescriptions. Self-employed pediatricians also have a number of business management and financial responsibilities to operate their practices.
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