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Pave the Way to Becoming a Pediatrician

February 07, 2023 · 4 min read

A pediatrician is a medical doctor who specializes in the care and treatment of children, from infancy to young adulthood. Pediatricians are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional health issues in children, including common illnesses, injuries, and chronic conditions. They also provide preventive care and health education to help children maintain good health and well-being. Pediatricians often work as part of a team of healthcare professionals and may collaborate with specialists, such as pediatric surgeons or pediatric cardiologists, to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Becoming a pediatrician is a challenging and rewarding career path. Probably, many understand that such a job requires many years of studying. Let’s have a look at the steps to becoming a pediatrician:

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree: To be eligible for medical school, you will need to complete a bachelor's degree in a related field such as biology, chemistry, or another science-related field. Many medical schools also require coursework in other subjects such as English, math, and physics.
  2. Complete medical school: After earning a bachelor's degree, you will need to complete a 4-year medical school program. During medical school, you will take classes in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and other medical-related subjects, as well as engage in hands-on training through clinical rotations.
  3. Complete a pediatric residency: After completing medical school, you will need to complete a 3-year pediatric residency program. This is a period of supervised training in a hospital setting where you will work with pediatric patients under the guidance of experienced pediatricians.
  4. Pass a certification exam: After completing the pediatric residency, you will need to pass the American Board of Pediatrics certification exam in order to become a board-certified pediatrician.
  5. Obtain a state medical license: In order to practice medicine, you will need to obtain a state medical license. The requirements for licensure vary by state, but typically involve passing a medical licensing exam.
  6. Continuously update knowledge and meet continuing education requirements: To maintain certification and licensure, you will need to engage in continuing education activities and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in pediatric medicine.

Besides, some pediatricians also choose to subspecialize in a certain area of pediatrics, such as oncology, cardiology, or neurology. This typically requires an additional 2-3 years of fellowship training after completing a pediatric residency.


What are the challenges on the way to becoming a Pediatrician?

One can be surprised that not only the big amount of time and practice make a good pediatrician, but also the ability to cope with challenges, and there are a lot of them of the specialist’s way. Let’s figure out the challenges of becoming a pediatrician in detail:

  1. Length of education and training: The path to becoming a pediatrician is a long one, typically taking 11-15 years after high school. This can be challenging for those who are not committed to the process or who struggle to balance their educational and personal obligations.
  2. Competition for medical school spots: Medical schools are highly competitive, and getting into a good program can be difficult. Many applicants have strong grades and test scores, and the process of applying can be stressful.
  3. Stressful and demanding work: Being a pediatrician can be emotionally and physically demanding. Pediatricians work long hours and often have to deal with critically ill children and their worried parents. It can be stressful to make decisions that affect a child's health and well-being.
  4. Financial burden: Medical education is expensive, and many pediatricians carry significant student loan debt from their years in college, medical school, and residency.
  5. Keeping up with the latest knowledge: The field of medicine is constantly evolving, and pediatricians must stay current with the latest knowledge and treatment options. This requires ongoing learning and continuing education, which can be time-consuming and costly.
  6. Balancing work and personal life: Pediatricians often have a busy schedule and may have to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. This can make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Despite these challenges, many pediatricians find the rewards of helping children and families through difficult times to be well worth the effort.

by Olena Kukhtyk

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