Pediatric primary care practitioners are specialists—they specialize in providing primary care to children. This includes health maintenance, disease prevention, education of new parents, helping parents to develop their parenting skills, helping children and adolescents to learn to care for themselves, identifying intra-familial stress, and teaching conflict resolution.
Pediatric providers specialize in the care of primary complaints in children, such as colds, fevers, earaches, sore throats, coughs, rashes, and minor injuries. Children are not little adults. Well-informed pediatric primary care specialists know more about the causes, microbiology, presentation, diagnosis, intricacies of management, and prognosis of middle ear disease in children than the ear, nose and throat “specialist.”
In the area of chronic disease, pediatric primary care specialists are at the forefront, coordinating referrals and multi-specialty and multi-disciplinary treatment regimens, while preserving the family unit as the ultimate support group.
The goal of this text is to assist the primary care specialists in all of these areas. Our focus is clinical, practical, and factual. For example, classical pediatric texts devote reams to important yet obscure and rare metabolic neurodegenerative diseases, but only four or five pages to otitis media. Our aim is just the opposite. The old clinical adage reminds us that when we hear hoof beats to think of horses—not zebras. This text is focused on a detailed description of “horses”—those situations encountered everyday in a pediatric ambulatory care setting. These everyday pediatric concerns are covered in exquisite nuance and detail. Each chapter can stand alone as an enduring monograph. Our authors not only describe the factual aspects of a disease or problem, but how they think about it and the reasoning processes they go through to arrive at a sound diagnosis and plan of management.
Chapter 1: Primary Care Pediatric