Pediatrics is the specialty of medical science concerned with the physical, mental, and social health of children from birth to young adulthood. Pediatric care encompasses a broad spectrum of health services ranging from preventive health care to the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. Pediatrics is a discipline that deals with biological, social, and environmental influences on the developing child and with the impact of disease and dysfunction on development. Children differ from adults anatomically, physiologically, immunologically, psychologically, developmentally, and metabolically. A pediatrician is able to define accurately the child’s health status and to serve as a consultant and make use of other specialists as consultants as needed, ideally in the context of, or in conjunction with, the physician-led medical home. Because the child’s welfare is heavily dependent on the home and family, the pediatrician supports efforts to create a nurturing environment. Such support includes education about healthful living and anticipatory guidance for both patients and parents. A pediatrician participates at the community level in preventing or solving problems in child health care and publicly advocates the causes of children.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)