Throughout the course of a lifetime, the human body goes through a continuous series of changes. These natural changes don’t necessarily require medical treatment but the medical conditions we encounter during different phases of our lives may require the help of a doctor specializing in a particular life stage.

For the little ones, a pediatrician is a specialist for the time in our lives when our bodies undergo the most dramatic and rapid changes. Pediatricians treat children from birth to young adulthood, often passing care along to a general practitioner or family doctor when a child reaches the age of 18.

Most children enjoy the services of just one personal pediatrician throughout their growing years but others may develop the need for a pediatrician who specializes in a particular aspect of the medicine of children.

During childhood, every organ of the body is growing and developing to full capacity. When one or more organ needs special attention due to illness, injury, or congenital issues, a specialist pediatrician is likely in order.

A dermatological pediatrician focuses attention of the conditions of the skin and hair. Children experiencing distress of the immune, cardiac, or muscular systems have a pediatrician to turn to who specializes in each of these body systems, too. Pediatric specialties encompass all the systems of the body.

A pediatrician is knowledgeable of the nutritional needs of a growing child and can provide excellent advise on proper diet and exercise regimens so the child can achieve a healthy body and develop a healthy lifestyle that is likely to minimize medical issues in adulthood.

Although it is sad to consider that there are some medical conditions and diseases that target children only, a pediatrician is trained to spot these conditions and prescribe a course of treatment to limit damage and distress to the delicate child.

Many of the same diagnostic tools and tests used on adults are used on children, too, but they must be applied in different doses or in different sizes. A pediatrician will have this information and equipment accessible and will be well trained in communicating with children who often won’t understand what is happening to them.

Because these littlest patients cannot communicate as clearly as adults and may be more frightened by illness or injury, a valued pediatrician becomes a master at communications as well as at medicine.

Watching children grow healthy and strong, perhaps recovering from physical illness or injury, can be tremendously rewarding for a pediatrician. Unfortunately, success stories don’t always happen and a pediatrician understands the heartbreak and loss to a family of a child who is gravely ill.

Unwavering compassion is perhaps the most powerful medicine in the kit of every pediatrician.

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