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What is a pediatric nephrologist?

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Quick Answer

A pediatric nephrologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating acute and chronic kidney and urinary tract diseases in children, including hypertension, kidney stones, urinary tract disease and kidney failure, according to U.S. News & World Report and HealthyChildren.org. In addition to attending medical school, pediatric nephrologists must undergo years of specialized training, finish a specialized residency program and obtain certification in the field from the American Academy of Pediatrics, states HealthyChildren.org.

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Pediatric nephrology meets the needs of children, who are often unable to cooperate in their medical care as effectively as adults and whose maturing bodies present special concerns, explains HealthyChildren.org. Pediatric nephrologists interact with children in ways that help them relax during treatment, and they have child-friendly offices with equipment specially designed for use with children. Pediatric nephrologists treat children from infancy through early adulthood and assist them with the transition to the care of adult specialists.

Pediatric nephrologists typically work as members of multidisciplinary teams that may include the child's pediatrician, nurses, social workers and other pediatric specialists, HealthyChildren.org further explains. Dialysis, kidney transplants, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and kidney biopsies are services that pediatric nephrologists typically perform. They also interpret lab results and X-rays of the kidney.

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