What Does a Pediatrician Do?


Quick Answer

A pediatrician provides health care services to treat and manage emotional and physical well-being for young people, from birth to age 21. They provide preventative services as well as treatments for childhood diseases and chronic illnesses.

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Full Answer

A pediatrician examines newborn children before parents take them home from the hospital. The pediatrician continues to see children on a regular basis for the first two years of the child's life. After the child reaches the age of 2, well-child visits are scheduled once per year until the age of 5. Yearly exams are scheduled after the age of 5. If the child becomes ill between visits, the pediatrician is available for an appointment.

Pediatricians are responsible for administering required immunizations. The pediatrician determines if the child is reaching developmental milestones and provides health information to the parents. If any special services are needed, the pediatrician acts as a liaison between the specialist and the patient.

Upon completion of medical school, a pediatrician spends three years in a pediatric residency program. Once the residency program is completed, the pediatrician can apply for certification by the American Board of Pediatrics. To become certified, the pediatrician must take a comprehensive written exam. Pediatricians must go through the certification process once every seven years.

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