Children’s health: what does a paediatrician do?

What is a paediatrician?

A paediatrician is a doctor who specialises in caring for children.

They are experts in managing diseases that affect children however tend to subspecialise into various facets of paediatric medicine, surgery and psychiatry.

What medical conditions do paediatricians treat?

Any problem that affects children, including:

  • Medical
  • Surgical
  • Psychiatric
  • Developmental

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What to expect at your child’s first visit to a paediatrician


Your child’s first visit will generally begin with their paediatrician asking about the presenting complaint, such as:

  • When it began
  • Its progress
  • Its severity
  • Any previous treatment and their responses

Next the paediatrician will focus on past:

  • Medical problems
  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Social history
  • Family history


Your paediatrician will usually commence the exam with a general assessment, which may include:

  • Checking temperature
  • Taking a pulse
  • Measuring respiratory rate
  • Evaluate general appearance

They will then move on to examine the specific area involved with the presentation. The findings of the history and examination will guide further investigations.

The information gathered is then put together to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment options are discussed.

Specialty areas of interest

  • Neonatology – problems of the newborn
  • Infectious diseases
  • Developmental paediatrics
  • Paediatric surgery
  • Paediatric orthopaedic surgery
  • Paediatric Ophthalmology
  • Paediatric ear nose and throat surgery
  • Paediatric plastic surgery and burns care
  • Paediatric intensive care
  • Paediatric respiratoy medicine
  • Paediatric cardiology
  • Paediatric nephrology
  • Paediatric neurology
  • Paediatric gastroenterology
  • Paediatric urology
  • Paediatric emergency medicine
  • General paediatric medicine
  • Paediatric psychiatry
  • Paediatric dermatology

Associated tests

Training and qualifications


* American spelling


A: Use HealthEngine to find and book your next Paediatrician appointment. Click on the following locations to find a Paediatrician clinic in your state or territory.


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.