Paediatrics is a branch of medicine that deals with the health and medical care of infants, children and adolescents from birth to the age of 18, their psychophysical development as well as treating and diagnosing childhood diseases.
Neonatology is part of paediatrics that deals with new-borns within the first month of life. A paediatrics-obstetrics cooperation helps to prevent malformations of the foetus and treat diseases since birth.
The qualification of a paediatrician is obtained by attending a specialization school in paediatrics (that lasts five years) that can be accessed only after receiving a degree in medicine and surgery and the licence to practice medicine. The so called "freely chosen paediatrician" is a paediatrician who has an agreement with the National Health System.
A paediatrician is a child’s doctor who provides not only medical care for children who are acutely or chronically ill, but also preventive health services for children in good health. A paediatrician takes care of the physical, mental and emotional well-being of children under their care at every stage of development, both in sickness and in health.
The goals of the study on paediatrics is to decrease the infant mortality rate, to manage the spreading of infectious diseases, to promote long and healthy lifestyles and to facilitate problems faced by children and adolescents with chronic diseases.
Paediatrics is not only interested in the immediate care of a sick child, but also in the long-term effects on the quality of life, disability and survival.
Paediatrics is a speciality based on collaboration. Paediatricians must work closely and carefully with other medical specialists and health professionals.
Paediatrics is different from adult medicine in several ways. The smallest organism of an infant or a new-born baby or child is substantially different physiologically speaking from that of an adult. Thus, treating children is not like treating adults.
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