Pediatricians focus on the physical, emotional, and social health of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults from birth to 21 years. Developmentally oriented and trained in skilled assessment, their patient-care lens is focused on prevention, detection, and management of physical, behavioral, developmental, and social problems that affect children. Pediatricians diagnose and treat infections, injuries, and many types of organic disease and dysfunction. They work to reduce infant and child mortality, foster healthy lifestyles, and ease the day-to-day difficulties of those with chronic conditions. With structured evaluation and early intervention, pediatricians identify and address developmental and behavioral problems that result from exposure to psychosocial stressors. They appreciate the vulnerability of childhood and adolescence, and actively advocate for measures to protect their health and safety.

General pediatrics: is a multifaceted primary care specialty. The general pediatrician's responsibilities include:

  • Management of serious and life-threatening illnesses
  • Referral of more complex conditions as needed
  • Consultative partnerships with other care providers
  • Health supervision (health promotion and disease prevention)
  • Anticipatory guidance (advice and education for parents regarding preparation for predictable developmental challenges)
  • Monitoring physical and psychosocial growth and development
  • Age-appropriate screening
  • Diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic disorders
  • Community-based activities in sports medicine, school health, and public health


For more information about this specialty, including the nature of the work, personal characteristics, residency requirements, match data, workforce statistics, compensation, and relevant links and readings, please see the AAMC page on this specialty (requires login to AAMC site. See "Specialty Pages" tab).

Pediatrics at UNC

Department of Pediatrics

Residency Director: Harvey J. Hamrick, MD

Career Goal Advisor Information: See Career Goal Advisor Page

Student Interest Group

Elective Opportunties

2 Week Career Exploration Opportunities