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    How to Become a Pediatrician?

    How to Become a Pediatrician?

    Primarily, a pediatrician is a trained physician who addresses the medical and health needs of patients under the age of 21. The expectations from a pediatrician is a lot more than simply handing out lollipops and candies to uneasy toddlers or answering the frustrated calls of parents with a feverish child. With the adequate knowledge and skills to treat, diagnose and prevent ailments and conditions affecting young patients, a pediatrician undergoes 13 years of education to serve as a healthcare professional.

    What is a Pediatrician?

    A pediatrician is a doctor specializing in offering medical care to young patients from birth till they reach adulthood. This can be up to their 21st birthday or as early as late teens. The duty of a pediatrician is not only to diagnose and treat ailments that affect babies, children, infants and adolescents but also maintaining their good health.

    A pediatrician is trained to:

    • Treat and diagnose ailments associated with children. Address the special medical needs of young patients such as malignancies, injuries, infections and genetic defects.
    • Use adequate treatment methodologies catering to the specific age of patients.
    • Assess if a child is undergoing normal development and growth.
    • Order tests, prescribe medicines and perform medical procedures.
    • Provide medical care for children who are chronically ill.
    • Reduce infant and child mortality.

    The physical wellbeing plays a pivotal role for a pediatrician, but some of the counseling and health maintenance they provide children relates to hygiene, diet and exercise. Such a doctor is also involved in early detection, and management of issues related to growth, development, child safety, social stresses, behavioral difficulties, developmental disorders, anxiety and depression.

    All in all, pediatrics is a medicine specialty that is associated with the emotional, physical and social health of children. There are a variety of sub-specialties pursued by a pediatrician to offer care to patients with certain issues.


    A doctorate degree is the basic entry level requirement for pediatricians.

    Here's a step by step educational requirements for a pediatric doctor:

    1. Bachelor's Degree.

    The primary requirement to be accepted into medical school is a three years of college or university level study. However, most medical students earn an undergrad or advanced degree by the time they join med school. While certain students opt for pre-med program to become a pediatrician, other meet requirements by taking science courses such as biology, physics and chemistry. Those students who have a clear vision to become a pediatrician upon starting undergrad school may choose to major in child psychology or any other discipline linked to pediatrics.

    2. Apply To Med School

    Earn a Doctor of Medicine or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) degree to become a pediatrician. When applying to a med school, an applicant is expected to present his/her MCAT score alongside their application. The MCAT test is a standard examination that gauges an individual's knowledge and understanding of Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences. This exam is generally taken during third year of undergrad studies.

    3. Complete The Med School Program

    Medical school requires four years for completion. The first two year coursework caters to biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology and medical ethics. The remaining two years are focused upon learning about how to care for patients within a medical setting. This takes place under the able leadership of experienced physician. During this phase, students are given exposure to various specialties including surgery, family practice, gynecology, internal medicine and psychiatry.

    4. Complete Your Residency In Pediatrics

    Once you have completed your med school, you will graduate as a doctor. However, you are not fully trained yet. The next step focuses on a three year residency in an approved program that will help you learn about treating children under the supervision of experienced pediatricians.

    5. Acquire A Fellowship In A Specialty

    A physician who specializes in a sub-field of pediatrics can opt for a fellowship program. Depending on the sub-specialty, the training can last up to two to three years.

    6. Acquire A License

    All United States physicians are required to obtain a license in order to practice in their desire state. The licensing requirements tend to vary from state-to-state basis but this includes taking and passing a two part exam.

    7. Get a Board Certification

    While this is optional, pediatricians can be certified by passing another examination. By becoming board certified, you get a sub-specialty that means fulfilling a separate certification procedure linked to a specific area of pediatric expertise

    Career Trajectory

    Doctors who are trained to specifically care and treat children and also a possess a deeper understanding of child health are expected to work in a wide range of facilities that includes institutes, industries such as schools, medical groups, community health centers, public clinics, HMOs, hospitals, etc. as a pediatrician, you can also join multi-specialty private practice services.

    Within the hospital, pediatricians often lead a supervisory role. Often, they admit young patients to the hospital and are responsible to order adequate tests and medications. They are also responsible to decide which procedures and treatments are pivotal. Alongside, they are required to consult with hospital staff regarding health and patient recovery.

    Pediatricians who specialize in neonatology are thus hired by hospitals to treat sick newborns and premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Those doctors working in hospital become head of pediatric, or medical director's at large hospitals.

    Children hospitals are constantly looking for qualified, well trained pediatricians with additional trainings in sub-specialty. For instance, pediatric hematologist and oncologist are hired to treat and diagnose infant and children with cancerous tumors and blood disorders.

    Academic circles recruit pediatricians to teach at medical school programs alongside conducting researches at universities, colleges, pharmaceutical companies, and other similar industries.