Training the top minds in pediatric medicine
CHOP is an educational hospital, so during your time here you will meet many physicians who are completing their training so they can specialize in the care of children. These are all highly qualified clinicians, and they work as part of a larger team overseen by the attending physician. You might also meet medical students who are training to become physicians.
Some families traveling to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from other parts of the world are surprised to learn their child is not cared for by a single doctor, but by a team of clinicians overseen by an attending physician.
Each team member has a particular role in your child’s care. The team meets each week to carefully orchestrate the ongoing treatment plan and discuss your child’s progress. These are the types of clinicians you may meet as part of your child’s care team:
- Attending physicians. These are the senior physicians responsible for the care of the patient. There are attending physicians in each sub-specialty (such as Oncology, Endocrinology, and Cardiology) that are involved in the care of a child. These physicians are responsible for the team of clinicians who care for the child.
- Fellows. These are pediatricians (doctors who only treat children) who are completing several years of training to become a sub-specialist (such as a pediatric cardiologist). They have already completed their pediatric training, and typically work for 3-4 years in a subspecialty.
- Residents. These are doctors who have completed medical school and are becoming pediatricians. Pediatric residents typically spend three years completing their residency. There are many residents at the hospital, and they are frequently involved in the care of the patients.
- Physician assistants. These are non-physician clinicians. They have received advanced training in medicine or surgery and work closely with an attending physician.
- Nurse practitioners. These are nurses who have completed advanced training and education to become clinical care providers. They have received advanced training in pediatrics and typically collaborate with the physician. They are able to order medications and tests like doctors.
- Nurses. These clinical caregivers provide direct service to patients on the units and support patients’ daily needs. They provide patients with medications that are ordered by the physicians, monitor vital signs and pain, provide comfort care, and are key members of the clinical team.
In addition to these doctors and nurses, you may meet a number of other people while your child is being cared for at CHOP. The following clinicians and staff members provide additional support for your child and family during the course of treatment.
- Social workers. Their training in child and family development, counseling, mental health and public advocacy allows these team members to help families solve problems and cope with the challenges of caring for a sick child.
- Child life specialists. These staff members help children, teens and family members cope with the healthcare experience through developmentally appropriate activities for children, education about and preparation for medical procedures and through emotional support.
- Dietitians. These team members work with children and teens to develop the best diet plan for their health and to build healthy eating behaviors.
- Psychologists. These staff members care for the psychological well-being of patients and families. They assess your ability and your child’s ability to cope with unique healthcare situations and help your child understand the process.
- Physical therapists. Physical therapists specialize in developing activities for children and young adults using exercise and therapeutic play to address movement, coordination, balance, strength and endurance issues.
- Occupational therapists. Occupational therapists help individuals achieve independence in all areas of their lives. They’ll work with your child to enhance participation in everyday activities, play and sports, and the return to home or school.
- Speech-language pathologists. Pediatric speech-language pathologists specialize in the evaluation and treatment of speech, language, and swallowing disorders.
- Chaplains. These team members provide spiritual or religious support to children and their families as they cope with their hospital experience. Chaplaincy staff is sensitive to the varied expressions of faith and are dedicated to providing support 24 hours a day.