Are You Smart Enough to Be a Pediatrician?



By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Medical care for children -- it's a lot harder than giving shots and handing out lollipops! Think you could make it as a children's doctor? Show off your smarts with our quiz!

"Pediatrics" comes from the word for "child" in which language?

"Paidos" is "child" in Greek, the language that has given roots to many English words. Words having to do with teaching, like "pedantic" also come from this root.


What is the more common name for catarrh?

Medicine, including pediatrics, has a technical name for everything. Even the common childhood problem of a runny nose, which is catarrh.


What is another name for pertussis?

Pertussis starts out looking like a regular cold. But the cough can be so severe that children fracture ribs. Ouch!


If a cough is bringing up phlegm, it is said to be _________.

The opposite of a dry cough is a productive cough. "Phlegmatic" is actually a term from the discredited "four humors" theory of medicine. It was once believed that "phlegmatic" people had an excess of phlegm, which was the key to their health issues, and even their personality, which is why we call inexpressive, unemotional people "phlegmatic."


In terms of health, children have certain things in common with ________.

Children and the elderly are both more vulnerable to infectious disease, for example, because children's immune systems are still developing, and in the elderly the immune system is breaking down with age. Some cynical med-school types refer to these two groups as "the newly bred and the nearly dead."


If you give a child an antipyretic, what are you trying to do?

A little Greek goes a long way. "Pyros" means fire (see also, "pyromania"), hence the connection to fever.


Which of these diseases is responsible for nearly 20 percent of early childhood deaths?

Most of the young children killed by pneumonia are in the Third World. Africa is especially hard-hit.


Why, in terms of health, should children be allowed to play in grass and mud, and with animals?

Challenges to the immune system in youth make it stronger. It is believed that this is why there's so much autoimmune disease in the developed world, and less in the Third World -- parents in wealthy nations to tend keep children's environments excessively clean, which backfires in terms of immune health.


A child's lower body weight puts him/her at risk of ________.

Even over-the-counter medications can endanger small children if adults guess at the dose they need. When in doubt, wait and take a child to a healthcare professional.


"Vaccination" takes its name from the Latin word for ______.

"Vacca" is Latin for cow. Early vaccinations -- then called "inoculations" -- used the milder cowpox virus to create immunity to the deadly smallpox virus.


Which of these diseases has no vaccine?

Scarlet fever is named for the rash and/or reddened cheeks that accompany it. It is the result of a bacterial infection, and has been brought under control by antibiotic treatment, handwashing and good sanitation, not a vaccine.


Which of these diseases is also known as lockjaw?

Tetanus is one of the diseases for which children regularly receive vaccinations. However, adults need to get booster shots too, about every ten years. Tetanus -- which causes muscle rigidity, hence the name "lockjaw" -- never stops being a threat.


Which of these diseases is NOT part of a combination vaccine with the other three?

Diptheria, pertussis and tetanus are vaccinated for in combination injections, commonly the TDaP or DTaP shots. Human papilloma virus is different in nature -- it's usually spread via sex, and is often symptomless in adults.


What is the common term for nocturnal enuresis?

Bed-wetting is common among young children. However, if it persists beyond early childhood, it can be a sign of emotional trauma, or even a physical condition. It should not be ignored by a pediatrician.


Which of these critical lifesaving medicines was developed in the 1920s?

Alexander Fleming developed penicillin in the late 1920s. It was particularly useful in cases of pneumonia, a common childhood killer.


Which of these diseases is known for its hoarse, bark-like cough?

Diptheria is one of the diseases which vaccination has brought under control. It causes a cough, sore throat, fever and swollen lymph nodes. These are not usually harmful in themselves, but complications of diptheria can affect the heart and nerves.


Can a child have an STD?

There are several reasons a pediatrician might test a child for an STD. One is suspected abuse. Being on the alert for physical or sexual abuse is an important part of a pediatrician's job.


Is a neonatal exam considered part of pediatrics?

Neonatology is a subspecialty of pediatrics (which has many such specialties). Pediatrics includes the care of children from birth through adolescence.


The leading cause of death among adolescents is _________.

Books and movies tend to present adolescents as at great risk of drug overdose or suicide, but actually these are not common causes of death or serious harm in teenagers. The group most prone to suicide? The elderly.


What is the BRAT diet?

The BRAT diet comes into play when a child is recovering from gastroenteritis. These are mild foods that are unlikely to cause a relapse of diarrhea or vomiting.


What is the cure for the common cold?

All of the other options are "folk" treatments for a cold, and it's true that many things can make a child with a cold feel better. But the illness has to run its course.


Can stress trigger asthma in children?

While asthma has both a genetic component and environmental triggers (like pet dander), stress or strong emotion can bring on an attack. Children deal with stress just like adults do; the difficulties of their lives shouldn't be dismissed as "just kid stuff."


Which childhood disease is near eradication, thanks largely to Jonas Salk?

Polio, short for poliomyelitis, isn't just a childhood disease. But it used to hit children hard because of its transmission through trace fecal matter. (Children's hygiene habits, especially in using the bathroom, really aren't all they should be).


Bedwetting, unexplained weight loss and unusual thirst are signs of ________.

Children wet the bed sometimes, of course. But if the behavior appears in a child with otherwise good bladder control, along with symptoms like weight loss, thirst and irritability, juvenile diabetes might be the reason.


Can an obese child be malnourished?

This is actually fairly common in poor families. Kids might have high-calorie diets, but if those calories come from fruit punch, cola, chips, candy and white bread, without adequate fruits, vegetables and proteins, they will show signs of malnutrition, like hair falling out and bad skin.


For which illness might a pediatrician prescribe a rescue inhaler?

Sometimes asthma is only minor. But for acute attacks, a rescue inhaler with an albuterol solution is important, and children should be taught to carry them and use them.


True or false: Can homeopathic medicines help childhood ear infections?

Homeopathic medication actually contains no active ingredient. Instead, it is said to retain the "memory" of being exposed to a substance because of the "intention" of the homeopath. Unfortunately, when parents don't understand this, it's children who suffer.


Anaphylaxis is a dangerous symptom of what ailment?

Some allergens, like peanuts or bee venom, cause an acute crisis called anaphylaxis. It can be life-threatening when swelling of tissues in the airways does not allow for proper breathing. Both children and adults can suffer from these allergies.


What would a child with a life-threatening allergy probably carry?

"EpiPen" is actually a trademarked name, but it's what most people say when they mean "epinephrine autoinjector." It cuts short an anaphylactic crisis, which can literally be a lifesaver.


Which of these cancers is the most common in children?

Leukemia isn't one disease, but several cancers affecting blood cells and bone marrow. According the the American Cancer Society, they are responsible for about 30 percent of childhood cancer cases.


Is chemotherapy not recommended for children under 12?

Children can have chemotherapy, and in fact tend to bounce back from it faster than adults. Radiation is more likely to have damaging long-term effects in the very young, according to the American Cancer Society -- but as with all treatments, risks versus benefits must be carefully weighed.


Which of these is a legal/ethical issue in the treatment of children?

Children cannot legally make decisions about their medical care; the parent or guardian must. But a pediatrician also has to pay attention to whether the adult seems to have the child's true best interest at heart, and try to intervene if not.


Which of these techniques would likely be used in a pediatric abdominal exam?

Palpation simply means pressing or gently kneading a part of the body to feel for anomalies. A hard or distended abdomen is a sign that something is wrong.


Is it ever appropriate to treat children with medical marijuana?

Marijuana shows potential in treating frequent seizures in children, seizures that are resistant to other medication. Medical marijuana growers have developed strains for children that are low in intoxicating effects while still high in therapeutic effects, so juvenile patients can pursue their studies and hobbies without the distraction of, well, getting high.


Coxsackie virus causes what childhood malady?

Hand-foot-mouth disease is not serious (usually), and causes red blisters on the body parts in the name. It's spread by direct contact, and teaching kids good handwashing habits can help prevent it.


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