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Los Angeles Pediatricians

Children's Hospital Los Angeles
4650 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 660-2450
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Ours is a special place – a place where children have been cared for, and cured, for more than 100 years. From a modest beginning in a two-story house in Los Angeles, our hospital has become one of the world's top pediatric facilities, acknowledged throughout the United States and around the world for its leadership in pediatric and adolescent health.

Our physicians, nurses and other caregivers – and those who support them – are committed to helping children lead healthier, happier lives today. Our physician-scientists and other investigators are dedicated to finding the best means to diagnose, treat and cure pediatric disease and to promote child health tomorrow. Children's Hospital Los Angeles improves the lives of children every day – children who are “…living proof that what we're doing is making a world of difference.”

The very best pediatricians in the country are trained at Children's Hospital Los Angeles – training programs include 274 medical students, 83 full-time residents and three chief residents , and 73 fellows, who collectively reflect the diversity of our patient population and the city of Los Angeles; hundreds of other fellows and students rotate through Children's Hospital Los Angeles as part of their training at other hospitals and medical schools.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California for more than 74 years.

Our unique approach to teaching also has created a new model – The RN Residency in Pediatrics , a 22-week program that provides new nursing school graduates with a comprehensive guided clinical experience to prepare them for work in an acute care environment. Note: To date, 405 nurses have successfully completed the residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. There are 24 nurse residents in the class that will graduate on Aug. 6, 2006. Graduates of the RN Residency have a turnover rate of only 15-percent for the first year of employment, compared to 36-percent prior to the advent of the residency program; our 24-month turnover rate has been reduced from 56-percent to 25-percent.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles has also established Versant Advantage, Inc., a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation committed to making fundamental contributions to the nursing profession by providing integrated web-facilitated education and training residency programs that elevate the standard of nursing care and improve the financial performance of healthcare institutions. Hospitals throughout the country that have implemented the Versant RN Residency have experienced clinical, financial and quality benefits through significant reduction of first- and second-year new graduate turnover rates.

Pediatrics (also spelled paediatrics) is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents (from newborn to age 18-21). The word pediatrics is derived from two Greek words paidi (παιδί) which means "boy" and iatros (ιατρός) which means "doctor". Most pediatricians are members of a national body, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Canadian Pediatric Society, the British Association of Pediatric Surgeons, the Royal College Of Pediatrics and Child Health, Norsk barnelegeforening (The Norwegian society of pediatricians) or the Indian Academy of Pediatrics.

Pediatrics differs from adult medicine in many respects. The obvious body size differences are paralleled by maturational changes. The smaller body of an infant or neonate is substantially different physiologically from that of an adult. Congenital defects, genetic variance, immunology, oncology, and a host of other issues are unique to the realm of pediatrics. Increasingly effective health care also means that diseases such as sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis are more often treated by pediatricians, though many or most patients grow into adulthood. Issues revolving around infectious diseases and immunizations are also dealt with primarily by pediatricians.

Pediatrics is also a springboard for any specialty of general medicine, each with its own unique aspects. Pediatric cardiologists deal with heart conditions in children, particularly congenital heart defects, pediatric oncologists often treat leukemias and lymphomas. Every subspecialty of the adult doctor exists in the pediatric field (with the exception of geriatrics), but some are unique to pediatrics, such as adolescent medicine, sports medicine, and neonatology.

Childhood is the period of greatest growth, development and maturation of the various organ systems in the body. Years of training and experience (above and beyond basic medical training) goes into recognizing the difference between normal variants and what is actually pathological.

Another major difference between pediatrics and adult medicine is that children are minors and, in most jurisdictions, cannot make decisions for themselves. The issue of guardianship, legal responsibility and informed consent must always be considered in every pediatric procedure. In a sense, pediatricians often have to treat the parents and sometimes, the family, rather than just the child. Adolescents are in their own legal class, having rights to their own health care decisions in certain circumstances only, though this is in legal flux and varies by region.

In the U.S., pediatricians are considered to be primary care doctors, along with family practice, internal medicine, and obstetrics. Much of the rest of the world considers them specialists, and parents are only referred to pediatricians for special care not handled by the generalists.

Abraham Jacobi is considered the father of pediatrics.

The educational requirements for a pediatrician within the United States generally starts with graduating from a four year college. Then one goes to medical school for four more years. After completion of medical school, one does a residency in pediatrics for an additional three years. The pediatrician may then elect to pass a certification examination to be Board Certified in pediatrics. To specialize within pediatrics, in most cases one must complete an additional three year fellowship within their desired subspecialty. The pediatrician may then elect to pass another examination to be Board Certified in that pediatric subspecialty. Some certified pediatric subspecialties in the United States are pulmonology, cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, nephrology, neonatology, adolescent medicine, critical care, and emergency medicine. Current exceptions to either the three year residency or three year fellowships include genetics, allergy & immunology and neurology. Other pediatric subspecialties such as pediatric radiology or pediatric anesthesiology are subspecialties of their respective primary specialties (such as radiology or anesthesiology).


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