Know Your Specialists: Pediatricians

Specialists are medical doctors who have done extra study in an area of specialization. Pediatricians are just as special as other specialists, but if you have children, you may be more likely to meet with a pediatrician than with many other specialists. 

Since pediatricians specialize in the care of babies and children, kids and parents alike often work with these special doctors.

What is a Pediatrician?

These physicians specialize in medical care for newborns, children, and adolescents. Pediatricians offer primary care for children from birth through adolescence. 

They earn a premedical undergraduate degree, usually spending four years in study. Then they complete four years of medical school. After earning their medical degrees, they complete three or more years of residency training in pediatrics. The residency is based at a pediatric hospital with hands-on experience. In some cases, residencies and internships may take up as much as seven years.

A pediatrician is eligible to take the American Board of Pediatrics exam after completing residency training. Earning and maintaining board certification ensures the pediatrician meets the ABP’s standards of excellence for skills and current knowledge of pediatrics. Only board-certified pediatricians earn the designation DAAP (Diplomat of the American Academy of Pediatrics) or FAAP (Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics). 

Some pediatricians choose to specialize even further by completing a fellowship in a medical specialty such as neurology, gastroenterology, or urology.

What Does a Pediatrician Do?

Your child’s doctor helps you to raise a healthy child by meeting with you and your child on a regular basis. Together you’ll track your baby’s development and help your child establish a healthy lifestyle. You and your pediatrician are partners in making sure that your child grows up healthy. 

Of course, a pediatrician also offers medical care for kids who are sick or injured. That might be a quick visit when your child has an ear infection or the flu. It might be long-term care for a long-lasting or chronic illness.

Sometimes your pediatrician will work with other physicians in other specialties to make sure that your child gets the best possible care.

Pediatricians in Northwest Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas Pediatrics is an award-winning practice with doctors who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. There are locations in Fayetteville and in Pinnacle Hills, with Acute Care offices and waiting rooms separated from Wellness Care clinics. This keeps children from sharing communicable illnesses with well-child visitors.