How to Become a Pediatrician

Becoming a pediatrician can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the medical community, both financially and patient wise. This type of doctor typically treats patients from infant age all the way up to the teenage years. This job requires an extra level of patience and understanding because the person is dealing with children as well as their parents, which can be stressful. There are many important steps involved in order to become a pediatrician.

Getting a Bachelorís Degree

The first step in understanding how to become a pediatrician is accepting that this career choice will involve many years of schooling. The first level of schooling for a pediatrician, after graduation of high school, includes pursuing a four-year degree, also known as a bachelorís degree, at an accredited university. During these four years, there will be key classes that a person needs to take in preparation for medical school, including many higher-level science courses, as well as biochemistry classes required for all pre-med students.

Four Years of Medical School

In addition to gaining a bachelorís degree from an accredited university, a student is also required to apply and get into a medical school once their bachelorís degree is completed. After a graduate is awarded entry into medical school, the student is required to complete four more gruelling years of study in their determined speciality. The speciality in this case would be pediatrics, or medicine dealing with children and their diseases. After successfully completing medical school, the graduate is also required to complete a residency.

Three-Year Residency

As a student graduates from medical school, they are still not ready to start treating patients on their own. In pediatrics, as well as other medical fields, the graduate is then required to complete a three-year residency or internship. During this time, the graduate will work in a live medical setting such as a hospital or doctorís office where they will sometimes put in 80 or more hours per week. This will allow the graduate to get hands on training while being monitored by licensed and experienced doctors.

Choosing How to Practice

After completing a residency, the graduate is also required to obtain their medical license before practicing medicine. Once the medical license is obtained, the fun part of becoming a pediatrician begins. The doctor can choose whether they would like to practice in a small office setting, a hospital, or even open their own private practice. Pediatricians typically make anywhere from $120,000- 200,000 annually depending on their experience. This also depends on the area that they choose to practice as well as the type of practice they decide to pursue.

Learning how to become a pediatrician is the first step in the process. The key factors to remember when deciding to work in the field of pediatrics are the amount of school required, the residency requirements, and if a person enjoys working with children. These are key indicators of whether a person will be successful in this field of medical work or whether they should choose a different field of study.