Pediatricians are increasingly called on to treat mental health issues related to children and adolescents, particularly to prescribe psychopharmacologic medications. Although an initiative within the American Academy of Pediatrics emphasizes this topic, it remains an undeveloped area in pediatric residency training. Pediatricians often find themselves inadequately equipped to treat patients with complex psychopathologic symptoms. Child psychiatrists are in short supply, and making a referral can take up to several weeks or months.
Varley CK, Calinoiu I. Pediatric Psychopharmacology: Principles and Practice. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(10):1035-1036. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.10.1035-a