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What is a Pediatric Nephrologist?

If your child has kidney or urinary tract disease, bladder problems, kidney stones, or high blood pressure, a pediatric nephrologist has the special skills and experience to treat your child. Pediatric nephrologists treat children from infancy through late adolescence and in some centers up to young adulthood.

What Kind of Training Do Pediatric Nephrologists Have?

Pediatric nephrologists are medical doctors who have had

  • At least 4 years of medical school
  • Three years of pediatric training in an approved residency program
  • Three to 4 years of pediatric nephrology training

The American Board of Pediatrics certifies all pediatric nephrologists.

What Types of Treatments Do Pediatric Nephrologists Provide?

Pediatric nephrologists diagnose, treat, and manage many disorders affecting the kidney and urinary tract, including kidney failure, high blood pressure, inherited kidney diseases, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and abnormalities in the urine such as blood and protein. They also know how to evaluate and treat problems with growth and development that are specifically related to chronic kidney disease. They are also skilled in helping patients transition from pediatric nephrologists to nephrologists and urologists that care for adult patients.

Pediatric nephrologists generally provide the following services:

  • Dialysis
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Kidney biopsies
  • The interpretation of x-ray studies of the kidney
  • The interpretation of laboratory studies related to kidney disease
  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring

Pediatric nephrologists are the coordinators of a team that includes specialized nurses, dieticians, and social workers, all dedicated to the care of children with kidney diseases. They work closely with other physicians such as pediatric urologists, pediatric surgeons, and pediatric radiologists.

Where Can I Find A Pediatric Nephrologist?

Pediatric nephrologists practice in children’s hospitals, university medical centers, and large community hospitals. Your pediatrician will be able to refer you to a pediatric nephrologist.

Pediatric Nephrologists — The Best Care For Children

Children are not just small adults. Their bodies are growing and have unique medical needs. They usually express their concerns differently than adults do. They cannot always answer medical questions, and are not always able to be patient and cooperative. Pediatric nephrologists know how to examine and treat children in ways that help them relax and cooperate. In addition, pediatric nephrologists use medical equipment designed just for children. Most pediatric nephrologists’ offices are arranged and decorated for children.

If your pediatrician suggests that your child see a pediatric nephrologist, you can be assured that your child will receive the best possible medical care.

To find a pediatrician or pediatric specialist in your area, click here.

Last Updated
American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2012)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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