Becoming a pediatrician is an incredibly rewarding career that requires years of schooling and professional training. For those aspiring to become a part of pediatric medical staff somewhere, the first step is to understand what kind of education and training will be necessary. Read further to find out more about becoming a doctor that can work with children.
1. Undergraduate Pre-Med Program
The most common path to becoming a pediatrician includes an undergraduate pre-med program. This program is typically four years long and includes courses in physics, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and anatomy, among others. It’s designed to give students the foundation of knowledge and understanding necessary for medical school. Depending on the institution, some pre-med programs may also require certain elective courses in addition to the core classes.
2. Medical School Admissions Exam (MCATs)
After completing an undergraduate pre-med program, students must take and pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). It’s a standardized test used to evaluate the aptitude and knowledge of prospective medical students. It includes four sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. A passing score is required for admission into the top medical schools.
3. Medical School
Once accepted into medical school, students will begin a rigorous four-year program that focuses on both classroom and clinical training. During the first two years, students will complete courses in anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, and medical ethics. The third and fourth years of training will include clinical rotations in a variety of medical fields, including pediatrics. During these rotations, students will have the opportunity to work directly with patients under the supervision of experienced pediatric medical staff.
4. Residency Program
All pediatricians must complete a pediatric residency program after medical school. During this period, the residents receive mentorship and training in pediatric healthcare. It typically takes three to four years and allows medical residents to gain experience in related surgery, emergency medicine, nephrology, oncology, cardiology, and endocrinology. After this residency program, pediatricians will have the knowledge and skills necessary to practice medicine.
According to Zippia, 72.8% of pediatricians are women, while 27.2% are men. Regardless of gender, pediatric medical staff must commit to providing the highest quality care to children. Contact our team for more information about this profession.