The eight week clerkship in Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is not expected to impart the knowledge necessary to bring a student to the level of the Pediatrician.
However, in the course of this rotation, the student will be expected to focus on several areas of information which will include: knowledge of normal growth and development, including physical growth, neurological development, alterations of behavior, and sexual maturation, and also the transition from intrauterine to extrauterine life, developmental physiology for all organ systems, and the development of the host defense system. Knowledge of events that represent normal development at certain ages that are distinctly abnormal at other ages should also be emphasized.
The principals behind the schedule for childhood immunization is a hallmark of pediatric preventative medicine and should be emphasized by the student.
The student should learn the basic principals of clinical treatment of pediatric illnesses, including problems of nutrition, fluid and electrolyte balance, and antibiotic therapy of common pediatric infections.
In addition, recognition of common pediatric problems including the common congenital malformations will also be important to the student's success in pediatrics. During the pediatric rotation, the student is expected to become proficient at the performance of the pediatric history and physical examination, with special emphasis on the areas of growth and development, prenatal history, nutritional history, and the psychosocial development of each individual child.
The care of the child is a particular challenge when considering certain skills and techniques which are necessary for general pediatric care. The student is expected to familiarize him or herself with techniques for venipuncture, lumbar puncture, urine analysis, and gram stain of cerebrospinal and body fluids.