What does a pediatrician do?

A pediatrician is more than just your child’s doctor; they are an advocate for your child’s health and a supportive resource for parents.

A pediatrician is more than just your child’s doctor; they are an advocate for your child’s health and also act as a supportive resource for parents. Pediatricians see children of all ages, from newborns to young adults.

“Pediatricians are uniquely trained to support your child’s overall health, including their physical, mental, emotional and social well-being,” said Matthew D. Kinney, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. “We also track a child’s growth and developmental benchmarks, along with guiding and supporting parents throughout each stage of a child’s development.

What kind of training does a pediatrician have?

Pediatricians undergo extensive education and training. It takes at least eleven years of education to become a pediatrician: four years of undergraduate school; four years of medical school; and three years of a pediatric residency. Some spend additional years training in a subspecialty.

What conditions do pediatricians treat?

Norton Children’s Medical Group

Pediatrician offices located throughout the Louisville and Southern Indiana area.

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Your child typically may see a pediatrician if they are sick or hurt, or during a regular checkup. Pediatricians have a wide scope of responsibilities: from preventive care, like wellness exams and vaccinations, to diagnosing and treating various acute and chronic health conditions.

Here is a list of what a pediatrician can help with:

  • Performing annual well-child checkups and school physicals
  • Sports physicals
  • Tracking growth and developmental milestones for early detection of abnormalities
  • Protecting your child from illness with recommended vaccines
  • Completing recommended screenings
    • Such as anemia, lead exposure, high cholesterol, plus hearing and vision
  • Diagnosing and treating a variety of health conditions:
    • Common childhood acute illnesses (i.e. strep throat or ear infections)
    • Managing more chronic conditions (i.e. asthma, eczema, ADHD or acne)
  • Screen, diagnose and treat some mental health conditions, such as depression
  • Helping guide families in regards to safety and injury prevention
  • Consulting with parents, answering their questions and offering advice
  • Referring to specialists for additional workup or treatment 

What is a nurse practitioner?

Nurse practitioners (their advanced practice registered nurse credential is abbreviated as APRN after their name) are a part of many pediatrician offices. They possess education and training in a specialized area, such as pediatrics, and are qualified to care for newborns, children, teens and young adults. Depending on availability, a nurse practitioner may be able to see a child sooner than a doctor to provide diagnosis and treatment.