Update in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
The field of pediatric gastroenterology was first described in 1960 and has rapidly grown from a specialty that was only offered at a few select centers around the world to one that is now considered an absolutely necessity at any pediatric hospital (Thomson et al., J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 55:636–639, 2012). In the United States, there is ~1 pediatric gastroenterology provider per 100,000 children making it one of the largest pediatric subspecialty disciplines. However, due to patient volume, it is considered by the Children’s Hospital Association to be a subspecialty with a shortage of providers. With rapid growth comes considerable change in practice management and technological advancement. Given the frequency of gastrointestinal complaints (such as reflux, constipation, weight concerns and elevated transaminase levels) and the relative shortage of subspecialty providers, it is important for primary care providers to be up-to-date on common pediatric gastrointestinal and hepatology advancements. In this chapter we have highlighted some of the most important changes and advancements pertaining to common pediatric gastrointestinal and hepatic conditions that have occurred over the last 5–10 years and presented in a manner to best aid the primary care provider.
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