Duties and Responsibilities of a Pediatrician
A pediatrician, like any other doctor, has numerous duties and responsibilities that must be handled throughout his or her career. It is the ability to perform these duties professionally and without error that will ultimately determine anyone’s success as a pediatrician.
Encouraging Health and Well-Being
Perhaps the most important responsibility of a pediatrician is to encourage the health and well-being of his or her patients. This often starts at birth, and many are actually present for the birth of the infant. He or she will then regularly monitor the progress of that child, and even in today’s day and age, it is not unheard of for a physician to be present throughout childhood – all the way up until the child turns 21. Well-checks, sick visits, nutritional advice, developmental checks and more are all an important part of any child’s well-being, and it is important for the physician responsible for the child to perform them as accurately and as professionally as possible.
Keeping Watch over Development and Growth
There are a number of conditions that children can develop at different points throughout their childhood, and this is why pediatricians check a child’s height, weight, and developmental progress regularly. He or she must be able to immediately note any deviations that could signal a problem, and he or she must also be able to determine why those deviations are present. Oftentimes, the pediatrician is the first person to notice that something could be wrong, and he or she must be able to rely on instincts and knowledge to pursue any problems that might arise.
Of course, as much as everyone wants kids to stay healthy and free from illness, that doesn’t always happen. Children can come down with any number of illnesses, whether it’s something as benign as a cold or as serious as cancer. Treating these illnesses is another duty and responsibility of the pediatrician, and this can include ordering tests, diagnosing the illness, and even deciding on a treatment plan. The doctor must also take into consideration any existing medical conditions as well as any medications being taken, and he or she must also consider any side effects that the proposed treatment plan might cause.
Keeping Everyone Informed
Finally, another of the most important duties and responsibilities of a pediatrician includes making sure that everyone, including the patient if he or she is old enough to understand, is informed of the diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis. This can be difficult for some people because it requires a certain amount of empathy, especially when it comes to delivering bad news and trying to provide comfort without providing false hope. It is important to be able to communicate things clearly and effectively, as well, particularly when it is important for accurate information to reach several different people.
The duties and responsibilities of a pediatrician can vary greatly based upon many different factors, including the setting in which he or she works and even his or her subspecialty. However, when it comes down to it, the most important responsibilities he or she will ever have are the lives of his or her patients.