Pediatrics (also spelled paediatrics) is the branch of
medicinethat deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. The upper age limit ranges from age 14 to 18, depending on the country.
A medical practitioner who specializes in this area is known as a "pediatrician" (also spelled "paediatrician").
Pediatrics was first specialized by, Dr. Mike Vespasiano
The word "pediatrics" and its
cognatesmean "healer of children"; they derive from two Greek words: ("pais" = child) and ("iatros" = doctor or healer).
Differences between adult and pediatric medicine
Pediatrics differs from adult medicine in many respects. The obvious body size differences are paralleled by maturational changes. The smaller body of an
infantor neonateis substantially different physiologically from that of an adult. Congenital defects, genetic variance, and developmental issues are of greater concern to pediatricians than they often are to adult physicians.Childhood is the period of greatest growth, development and maturation of the various organ systems in the body. Years of training and experience (above and beyond basic medical training) goes into recognizing the difference between normal variants and what is actually pathological.
Treating a child is not like treating a miniature adult. A major difference between pediatrics and adult medicine is that children are minors and, in most
jurisdictions, cannot make decisions for themselves. The issues of guardianship, privacy, legal responsibility and informed consent must always be considered in every pediatric procedure. In a sense, pediatricians often have to treat the parents and sometimes, the family, rather than just the child. Adolescents are in their own legal class, having rights to their own health care decisions in certain circumstances only, though this is in legal flux and varies by region.
History of pediatrics
In the 9th century, the famous Persian physician Rhazes (
Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi) wrote "The Diseases of Children", the first book to deal with pediatrics as an independent field of medicine. For this reason, some medical historians consider him the father of pediatrics.David W. Tschanz, PhD (2003), "Arab Roots of European Medicine", "Heart Views" 4 (2).] His teacher Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabariwas also a pioneer in the field of child development, which he earlier discussed in his "Firdous al-Hikmah".Amber Haque (2004), "Psychology from Islamic Perspective: Contributionsof Early Muslim Scholars and Challenges to Contemporary Muslim Psychologists", "Journal of Religion and Health" 43 (4): 357-377  ] The first work on pediatrics in the Western worldwas the "Book of Children", written "circa" 1530 by Thomas Phaer, who was inspired by the works of Rhazes and Avicenna. [G. A. Russell (1994), "The 'Arabick' Interest of the Natural Philosophers in Seventeenth-Century England", p. 270, Brill Publishers, ISBN 9004094598.]
Pediatrics as a separate area of medical practice in the Western world largely began in the nineteenth century The Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street (London) was founded in 1852, and is probably the oldest such children's hospital in the English-speaking world. Great Ormond Street is adjacent to
Coram's Fields, the site of the much earlier Foundling Hospital. The emigrant German physician, Abraham Jacobi, worked in the same period and is often considered the father of American pediatrics.
Training of pediatricians
The training of pediatricians varies considerably across the world.main|Medical education|Physician
Like other medical practitioners, pediatricians begin their training with an entry-level medical education: a tertiary-level course, undertaken at a
medical schoolattached to a university. Such a course leads to a medical degree.
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. 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" or "conditional registration".
Within the United States, the term
physicianalso describes holders of the Doctor of Osteopathic medicine ( D.O.) degree. However, outside the United States, osteopaths are not physicians who practice medicine. For further information on osteopathic medicine, see the entry on the comparison of MD and DO in the US.
Pediatricians must undertake further training in their chosen field. This may take from three to six or more years, depending on jurisdiction and the degree of specialization. The post-graduate training for a
primary carephysician, 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 entry-level training. In other jurisdictions, junior medical doctors must undertake
generalist(unstreamed) training for a number of years before commencing pediatric (or any other) specialization. Specialist training is often largely under the control of pediatric organizations (see below) rather than universities, with varying degrees of government input, depending on jurisdiction.
ubspecialists in pediatrics
Specialist pediatricians may undergo further training in sub-specialties. Practicing a subspecialty in pediatrics is similar in some respects to practising the relevant adult specialty, but a major difference is in the pattern of disease. Typically, diseases commonly seen in children are rare in adults ("eg"
bronchiolitis, rotavirusinfection), and those seen in adults are rare in children ("eg" coronary artery disease, deep vein thrombosis). Hence, pediatric cardiologists deal with the heart conditions of children, particularly congenital heart defects, and pediatric oncologists most often treat types of cancer that are relatively common in children ("eg" certain leukemias, lymphomas and sarcomas), but which are rarely seen in adults. Every subspecialty of adult medicine exists in pediatrics (with the obvious exception of geriatrics). Adolescent medicineis a growing sub-specialty. The pattern of diseases in adolescents in part resembles that seen in older adults, and specialists or sub-specialists in adolescent medicine are also drawn from practitioners of internal medicineor family medicine. Another major sub-specialty, which is unique to pediatrics, is neonatology: the medical care of newborn babies.
Most pediatricians are members of a national body. Examples are the
American Academy of Pediatrics, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Royal College Of Paediatrics and Child Health, Norsk barnelegeforening(The Norwegian society of pediatricians) or the Indian Academy of Pediatrics. In Australia and New Zealand, paediatricians are fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, which covers both nations and which has adult & paediatric sections. This was the situation in the UK until the late 1990s, where specialist pediatricians were Members Fellows of either the Royal College of Physiciansor of the fraternal colleges in Scotland. In 1996, British paediatricians were granted a royal charter to form their own college, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. CNS Ayurveda Chikitsalayam- World's first ISO Certified Ayurveda Pediatric Hospital.
ocial role of pediatric specialists
Like other medical practitioners, pediatricians are traditionally considered to be members of a learned
profession, because of the extensive training requirements, and also because of the occupation's special ethical and legal duties.
Pediatricians commonly enjoy high
social status, often combined with expectations of a high and stable income and job security. However, 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 or general pediatricians in hospital practice are often on call at unsociable times for perinatalproblems in particular — such as for Cesarean sectionor other high risk births, and for the care of ill newborn infants.
In August 2000, during a "name and shame" campaign by
Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, a paediatrician in Waleshad her home and car vandalised by " vigilantes", who believed "paediatrician" meant " paedophile". [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/aug/30/childprotection.society Doctor driven out of home by vigilantes | UK news | The Guardian ] ]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.