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How to become a Pediatrician?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered March 03 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Pediatricians need to complete a bachelor's degree, a medical degree, and three years in a residency program before becoming licensed doctors.  

 During their bachelor's degree, you can take a pre-med program. However, you can also take a biology, chemistry, or physics program and usually get enough pre-requisites to apply to medical school. If you are dead set on pediatrics from the start, you may want to take a child psychology class.  

 To apply for medical school, you need to pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). You usually take this test in your third or fourth year of undergraduate studies. Consider making a list of medical schools you are interested in, their requirements, and their deadlines to stay organized, as this application process can be quite rigorous.  

Once you have completed medical school, you will need to complete a three-year residency under an experienced Pediatrician's supervision to become eligible to take the licensing exam. This exam's requirements vary by state, but all states have some variation of a two-part examination process. 

Suppose you wish to specialize in a sub-field of pediatrics such as pediatric oncology or cardiology. In that case, you will need to pursue a fellowship program that can last two to three years.  
Important Things to Know Before Becoming a Pediatrician
  • You will be working with patients with limited communication skills
Children cannot estimate their pain on a scale from 1-10, and they cannot articulate their symptoms very clearly. You have to rely on other cues, such as rashes, fever, and the parents' account of the situation to make an assessment. 

  • You will also be taking on the role of psychologist and social worker
While you may monitor physical changes in children, such as their weight, you also need to monitor children for developmental delays, mental health issues, and so on. It is your job to recognize when something feels off with a patient to recommend a specialist when necessary. 

  • Pediatricians are some of the most underpaid physicians
Even among primary care doctors, Pediatricians are the most underpaid. The American Academy of Pediatrics is working on pay equity, but you should be aware that it does not pay as much as other medical fields. 

  • You get to watch children grow up
. You get to see children go from newborns to college. It's a special relationship, and you become a person that they can talk to about health issues if they do not feel comfortable discussing them with their parents. The emotional rewards of the position are immense.