What’s the difference between paediatrician and pediatrician?

Have you lately been to a hospital and see the board of a department saying Paediatric department? Or sometimes you might have read a board saying the Pediatrics department in doctoroncall?, so which one of these are the correct ones? Continue reading the article to know more about the correct usage of these spellings worldwide.

The word pediatrics originally means “healer of children” which is derived from two Greek words. ‘Pais’ in Greek means child while ‘iatros’ means doctor or healer. Pediatric is a branch of medical studies related to babies, infants, and adolescents ranging 18-21 years old. Pediatrician is a specialist who has completed masters studies in the particular field for more than 4 to 6 years. They can also be called as paediatricians depending on the region you are currently staying.

Pediatric is the spelling used for the specialist in American English which is popularly used by the Americans from the rest of the English speaking places. Meanwhile, the original spelling used from the Greek times was paediatrician which is used worldwide except America. Thus, both the spelling pediatrician and paediatrician are correct and accurate depending on the locality and region you are staying or practicing.

Here are some examples for the usage of both the words;

  1. Pediatricians in America have received multiple awards in the medical field as an appreciation for their hard work and efforts in research related to child mental health. [American Times]
  2. It has become the first medical university in the government sector to get 2 postgraduate seats in the paediatric field. [The Times of India]

In summary, both the pediatrician and paediatrician spellings are accurate and it is called differently based on the region you are currently staying.

What does a pediatrician do?


As told earlier, pediatricians are medical specialists who treat infants, children and adolescents. They also practice subspecialty in particular fields such as in general pediatrics, neurology, endocrinology, cardiology and so forth.

Apart then treating childrens in the general pediatrics ward, pediatricians also treat other conditions related to children such as below;

  1. Behavioural problems, developmental delay and intellectual disability, a pediatrician will normally take a thorough developmental history from the parents and carry out a simple developmental and IQ assessment. Further causes of developmental delay are then found out and treated accordingly.
  2. Neurological problems. Childrens with neurological issues such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and epilepsy require special care and long term management not only from the pediatrician but also from other specialists such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and surgeons. This is collectively called as a multidisciplinary approach to provide the best treatment options to patients. Such patients will usually have long term follow ups and monitoring from a pediatric neurologist in a pediatrics clinic so their progress can be noted carefully for further evaluation and treatment.
  3. Cardiology issues. Kids born with congenital heart disease often require an immediate intervention from a pediatric cardiologist before it progresses to heart failure and other complications. These conditions cannot be treated by a daily doctor or any other specialist. They require adequate attention from a cardiologist on the onset of symptoms and treatment options to prolong life.
  4. Neonatology. The term neonates are used for babies who are still under 1 month old. Some neonates require extra care after delivery and will be admitted under the neonatal wards or neonatal intensive care unit. Such babies are like premature babies, babies with congenital problems, septicemia in babies and more. Neonatologists are pediatricians who specialise in the neonatology field. They often communicate and work together with obstetricans to receive referrals and discuss treatment plans postpartum.