Pediatric Diagnostic Referral

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Diagnostic Referral Service

Diagnosing and Managing Complex Medical Conditions


A patient who was helped by Nemours Diagnostic Referral Service

The Nemours Diagnostic Referral Service (DRS) is a small group of highly specialized doctors with dedicated medical training and expertise in diagnosing and managing complex medical conditions in kids. We see children who have conditions that are extremely rare, new or difficult to diagnose. Or, they may have a wide variety of symptoms that could be caused by multiple conditions. We’re here to provide comprehensive evaluations and to help discover answers that the medical community hasn’t found. Our goal is to improve children’s management of complex symptoms, plus their overall level of functioning and quality of life.

Conditions We Treat

Conditions We Treat


We see a full spectrum of conditions — far too many to list here. The conditions we treat vary depending upon the location and providers selected. Don’t see a condition listed? Call us.

  • care before and after liver transplants
  • chronic fatigue (always tired or lacking energy)
  • failure to thrive (when children don’t gain weight or grow in height as expected)
  • fever without a known cause
  • medically complex and technologically dependent children (who need medical equipment like breathing machines and feeding tubes to survive)
  • recurring (ongoing or repeated) abdominal pain
Services We Offer

Services We Offer


Most often, we see children with conditions that are difficult to diagnose. They may be referred to us by their primary care doctors, the Emergency Department or specialists from other areas. Because of our unique expertise, we’re often able to provide deeper investigation into the cause of your child’s symptoms.

We see children for outpatient visits and inpatient stays (admitted to the hospital or a residential facility). Our evaluations include an initial detailed assessment, as well as any necessary laboratory and imaging studies. We’ll clearly communicate all findings and recommendations to you and your child’s primary care  or referring doctor. If we think your child might need to see additional Nemours subspecialists, we’ll make those referrals too. Throughout our evaluations, we often also regularly communicate with a variety of other relevant medical specialists to “think outside the box.”

Why Choose Us

Why Choose Us


In the Diagnostic Referral Service, you’ll be assigned a doctor, who will establish a long-term medical relationship with your child and family. This limits “handoffs” to different providers. Our goal is to fully understand your child’s complex medical needs so that we can offer the best possible care.

Learn More About Why to Choose Us »

Regional Diagnostic Referral Service Highlights

Services, programs and care teams differ at each location. Call for details.

At Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.), we care for children with conditions that are complex and difficult to diagnose.

  • support for families facing rare or multiple diseases that have remained undiagnosed after an extensive evaluation. We serve as a resource to community doctors and help to address families’ needs that may not have been addressed by other sources of health care. 
  • a “medical home” in a hospital-based clinic. That means we give families a central place for all of their medical records, and access to all of the services they need. We have close connections and access to the full spectrum of pediatric specialty and subspecialty care — all under the same roof. And we coordinate every doctor and care team’s recommendations to help address your child’s health needs as a whole.
  • better outcomes. Seeing us on an ongoing basis can mean more clinic visits and phone conversations, but shorter lengths of stay in the hospital as well as far fewer life-threatening illnesses, inpatient stays and intensive care admissions.
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Scheduled Specialist Online Visits

Nemours now offers scheduled specialist appointments through live video chat. Ask your doctor if this is an option for your family.

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Research & Clinical Trials

At Nemours, we’re actively researching new approaches for childhood disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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KidsHealth Library

Learn more about your child’s medical condition from the experts at Nemours’ KidsHealth.