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A pediatrician is a doctor who specializes in pediatrics, the care of children. After medical school, pediatricians perform an additional three years of training solely in pediatrics. They must then take a written test to become certified to treat children on their own.

Pediatricians take care of children from the first day of life through early adulthood. Diagnosing and treating childhood illnesses is only part of their job. Pediatricians are also responsible for:

  • Regular screening and evaluation of babies and children for appropriate growth and development.
  • Vaccination of babies and children, and advice about specific disease prevention.
  • Giving advice on the nutrition and general care of your baby or child.
  • Assessing and treating illnesses, including hospitalization for serious illnesses.
  • Coordination of care for children receiving treatment from different specialists.
  • Health education for the family.
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