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
- 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.
- 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
- Related to skin, nail and hair
conditions, including acne, dermatitis (both atopic and contact),
psoriasis, viral and fungal infections, birthmarks, and acquired skin
Medicine - For children and
adolescents with potential developmental disabilities, learning
difficulties, and emotional and/or behavioral challenges. Example
conditions include a variety of learning disabilities, attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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