Step by step guide to becoming a pediatrician

A pediatrician is medical doctor who manages the physical, behavioral, and mental health of children from birth until age 21. A pediatrician is trained to diagnose and treat a broad range of childhood illnesses from minor health problems to serious diseases.

Pediatricians have graduated from medical school and completed a three-year residency program in pediatrics. A board-certified pediatrician has passed rigorous exams given by the American Board of Pediatrics. To remain certified, pediatricians have to meet regular continuing education requirements.

What does a pediatrician do?

A pediatrician is a physician who specializes in treating babies, children, adolescents and young adults. As a pediatrician, you will treat illnesses and other health conditions, as well as provide preventative care. Conditions that you may diagnose and treat include genetic defects, behavioral difficulties and infections. You’ll also help patients with injuries, diseases, developmental disorders and functional problems. Job duties may include examining patients, keeping records of patient histories and ordering diagnostic tests. Pediatricians also administer vaccinations, develop treatment plans and counsel patients regarding wellness.

What kind of skills are required?

A Pediatrician must master a host of different skills to perform their responsibilities effectively. Strong observational skills help them diagnose patient problems and, evaluate treatments. At the foundation level, a pediatrician needs basic skills such as active listening, writing, speaking, science, critical thinking, active learning, learning strategies, and monitoring. At the job pediatricians routinely use skills including

  • Diagnosing diseases and disorders
  • Giving health care instructions
  • Giving injections, drugs, and other medications
  • Investigating data to solve problems
  • Observing and analyzing physical problems
  • Planning health care treatments
  • Treating physical or mental problems
  • Using medical or dental instruments to treat patients
  • Working as a member of a health services team

The steps to becoming a pediatrician

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s degree
  2. Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  3. Complete Medical School (4 Years)
  4. Earn a license
  5. Complete a pediatric residency
  6. Consider earning board certification