Parents' Corner

A Parent's Guide and Helpful Links to Common Pediatric Questions
American Academy of Pediatrics: an organization of 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.
Who is caring for my child at Hope Hospital?
Hope Hospital is a teaching hospital and is responsible for the education of 13 new pediatricians and many medical students each year.  When your child is admitted to Hope Hospital or you visit our outpatient clinic, you will be met by a number of physicians at various levels of training and each with his/her own job title. The following is a list of these physicians you will meet in descending order of experience.
  • Attending Physician:  Oversees residents, interns, and students and directs the care of each patient.  Wears a long coat - usually white, but may be blue or gray.  The Attending is "the Boss" and all plans and changes are cleared with him/her.
  • ResidentBasically, an apprentice pediatrician.  Residents have graduated from medical school, can prescribe medications, but are not authorized to work independently.  They learn while working and their actions are supervised by an attending pediatrician.  There are 2 types of residents - senior residents and interns.
    • Senior ResidentA pediatrician in the second or third year following graduation from medical school.  Wears a long white coat.  Residents oversee interns and students and are responsible for the care of large groups of patients.  For example, one senior resident is responsible for all patients on a particular floor.
    • InternA resident pediatrician during the first year following graduation from medical school.  Wears a long white coat.  Interns oversee medical students and are responsible for small groups of patients.  Interns are the front-line on the floors.  They are the first physician to be notified about changes or new results regarding their patients.   
      • A point of confusion: Sometimes an intern will be referred to as a resident.  An intern is a specific type of resident.  All interns are residents, but not all residents are interns.
    • Medical StudentWears a short white coat.  Medical school is 4 years long and usually broken into 2 sections: the first 2 years are spent in the classroom and the second 2 years are spent in hospitals and clinics. 
      • Third-Year Medical Student:  During the 3rd year of medical school, each student completes rotations in core areas of medicine: surgery, obstetrics and gynecology; psychiatry; family medicine; internal medicine; and pediatrics.  Students are a valuable part of the medical team and learn by gathering histories and performing physical exams, although they cannot prescribe medications.
      • Fourth-Year Medical StudentThe schedule during the 4th year of medical school is less rigid and allows more flexibility to rotate in specialized areas.  Many 4th-year students who are interested in pediatrics will rotate as a sub-intern or on a pediatric specialty like pediatric cardiology (heart) or pediatric pulmonology (lungs).