Find out How to Become a Pediatrician (also known as a pediatric doctor) for choosing a pediatrician job path, research professional skills and pediatric doctor schooling, licensure and certification information, and experience requirements. Pediatricians, often known as pediatric doctors, specialize in treating children’s problems and illnesses.
For example, they treat strep throat, pink eye, colds, and chickenpox, among other ailments. Pediatricians also assist healthy children in maintaining their health. Immunizations, assessing patients’ development and weight and providing social, mental, and emotional health advice are examples. Pediatricians might work in clinics, hospitals, or as independent practitioners.
How To Become a Pediatrician
Pediatric doctors work primarily in medical office settings but might need to travel to homes or hospitals when special patients’ needs arise. Generally speaking, pediatric doctors work on a full-time basis, although some longer hours might be needed. The rewards of caring for children are great, and these doctors are typically well paid.
In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that pediatricians earned a median annual salary of $127,610 as of May 2019 and will experience a job market decrease of about 2% from 2019-2029. However, working as a pediatrician can be stressful. Pediatricians need strong verbal and written communication skills and problem-solving skills. They also should have empathy and knowledge of medical software to manage patients’ charts.
Pediatric Doctor Requirements
- Degree Level: Bachelor’s degree then M.D. or O.D.
- Degree Field(s): Biological science or pre-med
- Licensure/Certification: Licensure required in all states; board certification available
- Experience: 3-6 year residency depending on specialty
- Key Skills: Strong verbal/written communication and problem-solving skills; empathy and knowledge of medical software to manage patients’ charts
Pediatric Doctor Work Environment
Pediatricians work largely in medical offices. However, they may be required to travel to patients’ homes or hospitals when unique circumstances arise. Pediatricians work full-time in most cases, though occasional overtime may be required. Caring for children has a lot of benefits, and pediatricians are usually well compensated.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, pediatricians earned a median annual salary of $127,610 in May 2019 and will see a job market decline of roughly 2% from 2019 to 2029. Working as a pediatrician is demanding. Strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as problem-solving abilities, are required of pediatricians. They should also have empathy and be familiar with medical software to maintain patients’ records.
Steps to Become a Pediatrician
You may be curious as to how long it takes to become a pediatrician. It takes around eight years of schooling plus a medical residency programme to complete the process. Let’s look at the pediatrician degree plan required for work in this profession and how to successfully climb up the pediatrician job ladder for those inquiring how to become a pediatric doctor.
- Earn a bachelor’s degree
- Earn a medical degree
- Complete a residency
- Obtain a medical license
- Earn and maintain certification
1.Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Admission to medical schools does not usually require a certain undergraduate degree. On the other hand, medical schools search for students who have finished the pre-medical curriculum at a college, which can be done through majors in math, chemistry, biology, and physics. Students must also have completed English and social science studies. A biology degree is a frequent path to become a pediatrician, and several schools offer structured pre-medical programmes to help students prepare for medical school.
Passing the Medical College Admission Test is a requirement for becoming a pediatrician (MCAT). In addition, students have graded on their physical science and biology knowledge and their cognitive and verbal thinking abilities. To prepare for the MCAT, some students enrol in online or in-person preparatory classes or join study groups. Volunteering at a medical facility can also help undergraduate students acquire experience working with patients. They can also obtain experience working with youngsters by volunteering in schools or after-school programmes.
2.Earn a Medical Degree
To become a pediatrician, the next step in the schooling process is to obtain an MD or ND degree. The first two years of medical school are spent in a classroom, where students learn about medical processes, body systems, and disease, among other topics. Students conduct clinical rotations in the second half of the programme, working with patients under the supervision of a licenced physician. Pediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics, and internal medicine are among the clinical rotations available.
Students usually take the first portion of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) before starting clinical instruction and the second part after finishing clinical instruction. Before starting a residency, certain states require students to pass parts one and two of the exam. After medical school, new pediatricians usually take the final step during residency.
The majority of students use the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) to find a residence match. Students should prepare a list of potential pediatric residency programmes and set up interviews with them.
3.Complete a Residency
A residency programme allows aspiring doctors to undergo specialized training in children’s medicine. During clinical rotations, residents work directly with patients. Then, in sessions and group settings intended expressly for residents, they evaluate their own work as well as case studies. A pediatric residency lasts three years, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges. Residents learn about general pediatrics and infant care throughout this time.
Adolescent medicine, pediatric sports medicine, pediatric gastroenterology, and neonatal-perinatal medicine are just a few specializations available to students in pediatric programmes. Choosing a specialty might add three years to one’s residency.
The residency period can be difficult, and some residents may need to migrate to find work. Individuals attempting to study a profession can benefit from building a network since it can provide emotional and professional support. Aspiring pediatricians can benefit from joining a professional organization and searching out mentors to assist their transition to a new lifestyle and workload.
In addition, aspiring doctors may find it easy to neglect sleep, exercise, relationships, and other good habits because of the rigorous schedule of a resident. Strong relationships and regular eating, sleeping, and exercise routines can assist residents in being productive. Residents should make an effort to incorporate healthy practices into their busy schedules.
4.Obtain a Medical License
Pediatricians are obliged by law to receive a licence from their state licencing board. In addition, all pediatricians must show proof of education and training, albeit the standards vary by state. They must also have passed all three parts of the USMLE exam.
5.Earn and Maintain Certification
Licensed pediatricians might choose to be certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. Applicants must have completed necessary medical training within the last seven years to be eligible for certification. Individuals who have been out of the workforce for more than seven years may be required to complete further training. A certification exam, consisting of 300 to 350 questions, is also required of applicants. Pediatricians can also become certified in a subspecialty by passing a separate certification exam.
Pediatricians must maintain their certification by continuing their studies. The American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Medical Specialties have created a four-part programme to assist physicians in staying current on pediatric advances. Continuing education credits are necessary for pediatricians.
Every ten years, they are given an exam to assess their professionalism, medical knowledge, practising approaches, and communication abilities. Maintaining certification displays professionalism and dedication to the profession, and it may lead to career growth chances in pediatric clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities.