Who are they and what do they do? A paediatrician makes diagnoses, plans and provides medical care to children from their birth until the age of 18 years. S/he may work either as an employee or as a private practitioner at a clinic within the network of state-owned or private outpatients' departments of the primary child care service. S/he may find job opportunities also in other health service establishments, such as hospitals, health centres, sanatoria, mental hospitals, child sanatoria, centres for the treatment of drug addiction and other institutions.
What are the activities of the job? S/he organises his/her own professional activities focused on preventive acts aimed at the protection of the health of children and young people, such as the vaccination or monitoring of their physical and psychological development. S/he actively searches for latent diseases, and deals with them in collaboration with the relevant specialists. S/he ensures treatment and rehabilitation activities are carried out directly in families and at child care establishments. S/he gives advice on the health care and methods of treatment to a patient, his/her family and the medical team. S/he actively searches for, monitors and controls patients suffering from chronic diseases, disabled children and children endangered by potential disablement. S/he evaluates systematically the state of health of the child population.
Where is it done and under what conditions? A paediatrician mostly works at hospitals and consulting rooms, or on visits to families. S/he often works away his/her consulting room.
What tools/equipment do they use? The tools generally used by doctors and the diagnostic and other equipment used by medical professionals.
What do you need to succeed? You need to have graduated from a faculty of medicine or university medical school. As far as personality qualities are concerned, intellectual ability is extremely important, as well as keen perception and understanding of phenomena, a good memory, the ability to adapt to changing and new situations and a creative approach toward the solution of tasks and problems, the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to practice, the ability and willingness to treat people tactfully and kindly, a sense of responsibility, ability to cope with stressful situations, good interpersonal skills, both verbal and written, ability to work independently, but also in a team, a feeling for details, patience and precision. As in other medical professions, a paediatrician must constantly educate him/herself, both on an individual basis, by following the specialist literature and on a collective basis, by participation in various specialist educational events.