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Paediatric vs. Pediatric — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Urooj Arif — Updated on April 7, 2024
Paediatric is the British English spelling for the medical field focusing on children's health, while Pediatric is the American English version of the same term.
Paediatric vs. Pediatric — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Paediatric and Pediatric


Key Differences

Paediatric refers to the branch of medicine dealing with the health and medical care of infants, children, and adolescents from birth up to the age of 18 in the UK and other Commonwealth countries. On the other hand, Pediatric is used in the United States and follows the same definition but adopts the American spelling conventions.
Paediatricians are specialists trained to diagnose and treat childhood illnesses, from minor health problems to serious diseases. Whereas, Pediatricians in the US undergo similar training and professional development, emphasizing the tailored healthcare needs of children in the American healthcare system.
In terms of literature and academic publications, paediatric research articles and textbooks may use British spelling and terminology, reflecting the broader linguistic preferences of their intended audience. Conversely, pediatric literature in the US aligns with American English norms, which can influence terminology in medical research and publications.
Professional associations and organizations in the UK and similar regions often use "paediatric" in their names, such as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). On the other hand, American organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), use the "pediatric" spelling, highlighting the geographical linguistic divide.
The spelling difference extends to derivative words and terms, such as paediatrician vs. pediatrician, paediatric oncology vs. pediatric oncology, illustrating the consistent application of British vs. American English spelling conventions across medical sub-specialties.

Comparison Chart


British English spelling
American English spelling


Preferred in the UK, Commonwealth, and elsewhere
Used in the United States

Medical Training

Same medical training as in the US
Same medical training as in the UK

Professional Bodies

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Derivative Terms

Paediatrician, paediatric oncology
Pediatrician, pediatric oncology

Compare with Definitions


Relating to paediatrics, the branch of medicine.
The paediatric ward was brightly decorated.


Refers to the branch of medicine dealing with children and their diseases.
He is a leading pediatric surgeon.


Specialists in children’s healthcare.
As a paediatrician, her expertise was invaluable.


Specialists in treating children’s diseases.
She consulted a pediatric neurologist.


Pertaining to the medical care of children.
She specializes in paediatric medicine.


Related to the treatment of children.
Pediatric care requires a gentle approach.


Involving treatment of infants, children, and adolescents.
He published a paper on paediatric nutrition.


Pertains to pediatric medicine or surgery.
The conference focused on advances in pediatric oncology.


Concerned with diseases of children.
Paediatric nursing is highly specialized.


Concerning medical care for children.
The hospital opened a new pediatric wing.


Relating to the branch of medicine dealing with children and their diseases
Paediatric oncology
The hospital's paediatric ward


The branch of medicine that deals with the care and treatment of infants, children, and adolescents.


Alternative spelling of pediatric


(American spelling) Of or pertaining to pediatrics, the branch of medicine dealing with the care and treatment of children.
The hospital has established a pediatric intensive care unit.


Of or relating to the medical care of children;
Pediatric dentist


Pertaining to the care and medical treatment of children.


Of or relating to the medical care of children;
Pediatric dentist

Common Curiosities

Can a paediatrician work in the US?

Yes, but they might need to meet additional licensing requirements specific to the US healthcare system.

Why are there different spellings for paediatrics/pediatrics?

The difference in spelling reflects the broader differences between British and American English.

Are there differences in paediatric/pediatric medical education in the UK and US?

The medical education is fundamentally similar, but there may be variations in curriculum and clinical training based on regional healthcare needs.

Is paediatric care different in the UK compared to the US?

While the foundational medical care is the same, there may be differences in healthcare systems, policies, and practices.

What kind of diseases do paediatricians/pediatricians treat?

They treat a wide range of childhood illnesses, from common infections to complex diseases.

Are paediatricians and pediatricians the same?

Yes, they perform the same roles and have the same medical training, but the spelling of their titles differs based on the country.

What is paediatrics/pediatrics?

Both refer to the branch of medicine that involves the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. The difference lies in the spelling, which is based on whether British or American English is used.

What are the sub-specialties within paediatrics/pediatrics?

There are many, including neonatology, pediatric oncology, and pediatric neurology.

Why choose a career in paediatrics/pediatrics?

It offers the opportunity to improve the health and lives of children and to work in a challenging and rewarding field.

Can paediatric/pediatric nurses work in both the UK and US?

Yes, with appropriate certifications and meeting the licensing requirements of the country.

What is the main focus of paediatric/pediatric medicine?

The main focus is on the health, growth, and development of children from birth to adolescence.

How do I know if a medical article is about paediatrics or pediatrics?

The spelling will usually indicate whether the article follows British or American English conventions.

How long does it take to become a paediatrician/pediatrician?

The path involves medical school, followed by residency and possibly fellowship training, totaling about 10-15 years.

Is there a difference in salary for paediatricians vs. pediatricians?

Salaries can vary based on country, region, and the healthcare system, rather than the spelling of the profession.

What is the importance of paediatric/pediatric care?

Early detection and treatment of health issues in children can lead to better long-term health outcomes and support healthy development.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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