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Pediatric Geneticist

Help children with birth defects and hereditary disorders.

What does a Pediatric Geneticist do?

Pediatric Geneticists go beyond the role of typical Doctors. A Pediatric Geneticist meshes the compassion of a Counselor and the knowledge of a Scientist with the ability to diagnose and treat patients as a Doctor. As a Pediatric Geneticist, you specialize in birth defects and illnesses in children while also finding ways to support their entire family.

Counseling may begin before a child is ever born. With your understanding of how disorders and birth defects can be passed down through generations, you advise couples on the likelihood of their children inheriting the disorder. Much of your office time is spent reviewing the results of the parents’ genetic testing and calculating probabilities.

When you’re with your young patients, you run tests to see how they’re doing and then evaluate the results. A child with a brain development disorder, for example, will be evaluated on different levels than a healthy child of the same age will.

In between ordering diagnostic tests and researching diseases, you develop treatment plans. Parents may be overwhelmed by the special needs of a child with Down’s syndrome or sickle cell disease. Your treatment plans cover not only the medical care the child should receive, but also how the parents can deal with their child’s symptoms.

In some cases, you may continue to treat the child into adulthood until you can refer him to another specialist. Your encouragement helps families offer the best care to children with developmental disorders or diseases.