Social role of pediatric specialists
Like other medical practitioners, pediatricians are traditionally considered to be members of a learned profession, because of the extensive training requirements, and also because of the occupation’s special ethical and legal duties.
A common misconception is that pediatricians enjoy high social status, often combined with expectations of a high and stable income and job security. However, pediatric medical practitioners in general often work long and inflexible hours, with shifts at unsociable times, and may earn less than other professionals whose education is of comparable length.Neonatologists or general pediatricians in hospital practice are often on call at unsociable times for perinatal problems in particular—such as for Cesarean section or other high risk births, and for the care of ill newborn infants.
Pediatric surgery is a subspecialty of surgery involving the surgery of fetuses, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Many pediatric surgeons practice at children’s hospitals.
Pediatric surgery arose in the middle of the 20th century as the surgical care of birth defects required novel techniques and methods and became more commonly based at children’s hospitals. One of the sites of this innovation wasChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Beginning in the 1940s under the surgical leadership of C. Everett Koop, newer techniques for endotracheal anesthesia of infants allowed surgical repair of previously untreatable birth defects. By the late 1970s, the infant death rate from several major congenital malformation syndromes had been reduced to near zero.
Subspecialties of pediatric surgery itself include: neonatal surgery and fetal surgery.
Other areas of surgery also have pediatric specialties of their own that require further training during the residencies and in a fellowship: pediatric cardiothoracic (surgery on the child’s heart and/or lungs, including heart and/or lung transplantation), pediatric nephrological surgery (surgery on the child’s kidneys and ureters, including renal, or kidney, transplantation), pediatric neurosurgery (surgery on the child’s brain, central nervous system, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves), pediatric urological surgery (surgery on the child’s urinary bladder and other structures below the kidney necessary for urination), pediatric emergency surgery, surgery involving fetuses or embryos (overlapping with obstetric/gynecological surgery, neonatology, and maternal-fetal medicine), surgery involving adolescents or young adults, pediatric hepatological (liver) and gastrointestinal (stomach and intestines) surgery (including liver and intestinal transplantation in children), pediatric orthopedic surgery (muscle and bone surgery in children), pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery (such as for burns, or for congenital defects like cleft palate not involving the major organs), and pediatric oncological (childhood cancer) surgery.
Common pediatric diseases that may require pediatric surgery include