Pediatric Specialties Overview
N.C. Carolina Children's Hospital has medical experts in nearly every pediatric subspecialty imaginable, and even some that don't readily come to mind. Choose from the alphabetical listing below to learn more about our programs and services. We included a brief layperson's explanation of each specialty and just a few examples of the conditions that clinicians within that specialty treat.
- Allergy - Related to the immune system's hypersensitivity to a typically harmless substance in the environment, known as an allergen. Exposure to the allergen causes a variety of allergic reactions, including hives, itchy and/or runny nose and eyes, eczema and even, in some cases, asthma.
- Anesthesiology - Related to anesthesia, sedation, and pain management.
- Cardiology - For conditions of the heart and blood vessels. Example conditions include congenital heart defects and a variety of other heart, heart rhythm, and circulatory system disorders.
- Child Learning and Development - Using a child- and family-centered model, the Child Learning and Development program offers evaluation services for children and adolescents ages 3-21 with developmental disabilities, learning difficulties, behavior problems, and/or social difficulties
- Critical Care Medicine - For critically ill inpatients who require intensive care and monitoring in the Children's Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit, or PICU.
- Dentistry - For conditions of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth, including the teeth, gums, and jaw. Dental diseases include tooth decay and gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Dermatology - Related to skin, nail and hair conditions, including acne, dermatitis (both atopic and contact), psoriasis, viral and fungal infections, birthmarks, and acquired skin growths.
- Emergency Medicine - For emergent conditions that require immediate or urgent medical or surgical care. Patients are treated in the Children's Hospital's Pediatric Emergency Department, a Level 1 pediatric trauma center.
- Endocrinology - For conditions related to the body's endocrine system, which consists of several glands (the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands, for example) that secrete hormones responsible for regulating emotions, growth/development, metabolism, and sexual maturation. Endocrine conditions include diabetes (type 1 and type 2), short stature and growth problems, and hormonal deficiencies or excesses.
- Gastroenterology - For disorders and diseases of the digestive system, which includes the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, and pancreas. Example conditions include a variety inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), celiac disease, and hepatitis.
- General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine - For general pediatric care of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults (typically patients from birth through 18 years of age). General pediatricians primarily focus on common, day-to-day conditions and injuries, referring their patients to specialists for more complex or chronic conditions.
- Genetics - Related to diseases and disorders that are influenced by genetic factors and those that are genetically inherited by, or "passed" to, a child from one or both parents. Genetic conditions include birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities, many types of growth issues, connective tissue disorders, and inborn errors of metabolism.
- Hematology - Related to non-cancerous diseases of the blood that affect its production and various components, such as blood cells, proteins, hemoglobin, and clotting mechanisms. Sickle cell disease and hemophilia are examples of blood disorders.
- Immunology - For disorders caused by the body's immune system, which typicallyfall into two categories: 1) immunodeficiency, or failure of the immune system to respond appropriately to a foreign invader, which can be hereditary in nature or acquired (e.g., HIV); and 2) autoimmunity, where the immune system attacks the body's own cells and tissues (e.g., Graves' disease and rheumatoid arthritis).
- Infectious Diseases - Related to contagious diseases spread and caused by microscopic infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Example conditions include a variety of illnesses and infections, including meningitis, septicemia, fevers of unknown origin, and viral infections such as herpes or HIV.
- Metabolism - Related to conditions that affect the body's ability to convert food into energy. Metabolic conditions can be cause by genetic defects (called inborn errors of metabolism) and include conditions such as phenylketonuria and glycogen storage disease. Certain endocrine conditions can also affect metabolism. (Please refer to endocrinology.)
- Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine - For the care of critically ill newborn infants, be they premature and full-term. This includes inpatient care in the Children's Hospital's 48-bed Newborn Critical Care Center and outpatient clinical follow-up for developmental challenges associated with perinatal illness and prematurity.
- Nephrology - Related to genetic and acquired conditions of the kidneys. Example conditions include various forms of kidney disease but may also include things seemingly unrelated to the kidneys, such as hypertension.
- Neurology - For conditions of the body's nervous system, which includes the central nervous system (i.e., brain and spinal chord), automatic nervous system (i.e., unconscious body functions such as breathing and heart rate), and peripheral nervous system (which connects the central nervous system to the limbs and organs). Neurologic conditions include sleep disorders, chronic headaches, seizure disorders, and neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy.
- Occupational Therapy - Therapeutic activities focused on helping a child learn or relearn functional skills needed to perform everyday activities, particularly those s/he will need in order to develop into an independent adult.
- Oncology - Related to the diagnosis and treatment of cancers such as brain tumors, lymphomas, sarcomas, and leukemias just to name a few.
- Physical Therapy - Focused therapeutic activities that help a child acheive or restore large motor group function and ability, such as standing, walking, reaching, and other physical activities requiring strength, balance, and range of motion.
- Ophthalmology - Related to the eyes and the area surrounding the eyes. Example conditions include lazy eye, blocked tear ducts, cataracts, glaucoma, and eye misalignment.
- Psychiatry / Psychology - Related to mental stability and emotional well-being. Example conditions include a variety anxiety, behavioral and mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and depression.
- Pulmonology - For conditions of the lung and respiratory tract, including airways. Example conditions include cystic fibrosis, asthma, primary ciliary dyskinesia, sarcoidosis, and congenital and acquired airway disorders.
- Radiology - Related to the use of imaging technology such as X-ray, ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose and treat disease.
- Rehabilitation - Sometimes referred to as physical medicine or physiatry, rehabilitation is meant to restore body function in those affected by physical disabilities caused by a brain injury or conditions such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy.
- Rheumatology - For conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, including the joints and tendons as well as the soft and connective tissues of the body. The specialty is interrelated with immunology, as rheumatological conditions are autoimmune responses. Example conditions include arthritis, lupus, and sarcoidosis.
- Surgery - Includes primary surgical care and specialty surgery in the areas of cardiothoracic surgery, neurosurgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology (head and neck) surgery, and plastic surgery.
- Urology - For conditions related to the internal and external genital system and urinary tract. Example conditions include hydronephrosis and hernias.
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