Paediatric medicine, also known as paediatrics, is a branch of medicine that focuses on the medical care of children, infants and adolescents. A doctor which is specialised in this area is known as a paediatrician or paediatrician.
The discipline dates back to Hippocrates, Aristotle, Celsius, Soranus and Galen who affirmed that different organisms need different treatments. As well as this, paediatric medicine was also known in ancient India. Nevertheless, the first paediatric hospital opened in Paris in 1802.
The differentiation between adult and child medicine is important as the adults and children have different bodies. As well as this, considering the jurisdiction context, children can’t make decisions; therefore, paediatricians usually have to treat the whole family rather than just the child. In this field, adolescents have their own legal class as they can take decisions under specific circumstances.
Not only does a paediatrician need a degree to become a doctor, but he/she need also training sessions. Depending on jurisdiction and university, a university degree can be either undergraduate entry or graduate entry. The first takes from five to six years of study; the second lasts from three to four years.
There are different subspecialties within this discipline, including adolescent medicine, child abuse paediatrics, genetics, neonatology, pain medicine, pediatric cardiology pediatric allergy and immunology, paediatric critical care, pediatric endocrinology, paediatric gastroenterology, sports medicine, sleep medicine, social medicine, pediatric nephrology and many more.
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