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A Pediatric Physiatrist works with children who have physical disabilities, helping them laugh, learn, play, and grow despite their medical conditions. An expert on a range of health issues that can affect the brain, body, or both, a Pediatric Physiatrist chooses non-surgical treatment plans to boost the child’s independence and progress their development as normally as possible.
A child’s physical, mental, and emotional development can all be affected by a disability or chronic illness. An artificial limb may not physiologically alter their mental state, but it can certainly lower their self-esteem. As a Pediatric Physiatrist, you strive to treat not just the disability, but also the child as a whole.
The wide scope of disabilities and illnesses you treat include physical problems such as amputations and other conditions that cause children to become wheelchair-bound, disease-related problems such as cancer recovery, brain injuries, and Down’s Syndrome. Thus, the needs of each patient can be really diverse.
To help your young patients, you assess their disabilities and predict an expected path of development based on their age and health condition. Your treatment plans, which focus on both medical problems and emotional needs, change rapidly as you monitor the child for improvement, and record how quickly they’re learning and adapting. The focus is always on non-surgical treatment options only, and on pain management as needed. This lets you work on healing the child as naturally as possible – something that all parents want.