Pediatricians are medical doctors who specialize in the care of children, infants and adolescents. So if you love working with kids, this is a profession you should consider.
They assess and treat children and infants suffering from medical diseases and disorders, perform regular checkups to ensure good health and track their growth. As a pediatrician, you may also choose to specialize in specific aspects of pediatric surgery.
Some of the common duties you would be expected to perform as a pediatrician are examining infant and youth patients to perform diagnostic tests for medical diagnosis, tracking childhood growth and development as well as treating patients with minor injuries, medical disorders, injuries and chronic health problems.
They also offer advise to parents regarding child health issues such as exercise, diet, hygiene and disease prevention.
The entry level salary for pediatricians varies according to country but is approximately USD 135,000 per year. The median salary is about USD 150, 000, according to the US Bureau of Labor statistics. The top 10% of pediatricians earned about USD 187, 200 annually, while the bottom 10% earned slightly over USD 87000 per year.
Pediatrician schooling involves intensive training both in the classroom and in the real world setting. Before you are able to practice as a pediatrician, there are several important educational milestones you must reach.
After graduating high school, you need to complete a 4 year Bachelor’s degree if you are aspiring to be a pediatrician. This often includes a completion of courses required for medical school such as biology, chemistry and math.
However, specific coursework may vary from one medical school to another. For most countries, students also need to obtain a high academic standing in order to be accepted into medical school.
Qualifying to get into medical school can be challenging but is also the most crucial step for becoming a pediatrician. The first 2 years of medical school consists primarily of basic medical overview courses. In first year, you learn about human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, neuroanatomy, pharmacology, and much more.
Your second year of study includes courses that are more focused on clinical sciences and start getting more hands on experience with patients. This may include introductory courses on cardiology, radiology, emergency medicine, surgery, and much more.
By the time you are in the third and fourth year, you should have chosen a specialty area, taken coursework and participated in clinical rotations aimed at strengthening knowledge and training in the specialty of choice. Aspiring pediatricians will want to specialize in fields such as family practice, pediatrics and internal medicine.
Internship and residency
After completing med school, you will need to be accepted into a 3 year pediatric residency program. This is where you will work as a resident in a hospital and gain hands on experience working with patients under the supervision of more experienced doctors.
It is over the course of residency that you will gain more experience and responsibility as you hone your training and skills. Pediatric interns also have the option of completing a fellowship at the end of residency to specialize in a sub-specialty within pediatrics.
Occupation outlook for pediatricians
According to the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics (BLS), surgeons and physicians, the occupational category that pediatricians are grouped in, could see a 18 percent increase in jobs from 2012-2022. Most pediatricians work in hospitals, physician’s offices or outpatient centers. However, many are self employed and run their own private practices or work in group practice.
Group practices allow doctors to care for a number of patients while sharing administrative expenses. This allows them to enjoy more time off work and provide backup care for their patients. Some pediatricians work with governmental organizations or the community to resolve large scale health issues affecting children.
A close career is pediatric nursing. Like many fields in nursing, a pediatric nurse may provide examinations, take blood samples and administer vaccinations. With additional training, nurses can develop treatments and health care plans for young patients.
Specialized training in critical care, oncology or neonatal care opens up many other pediatric nurse jobs in clinics, government institutions and hospitals.
In addition to caring for patients, pediatric nurses work with parents and guardians. They play a key role in providing essential health information parents need to provide better care for their children. This is why many pediatric nurses work in school systems.
School nurses are often required to administer prescription medication that a child needs during schools hours. They need to be alert to any disease outbreaks and provide education to students to prevent the spread of viruses. School nurses are also alert to signs that a child may be endangered and often provide fist aid treatment for minor injuries.
Pediatric nurse salary
The salary for pediatric nurses largely depends on the amount of education and number of years of experience in the pediatric field. Geographical area and place of employment are also determining factors of pay. The average salary for a pediatric nurse was about USD 78000 per year as of January 2013.
Working as a pediatric nurse opens doors for further specialization and advanced education. With continued training a nurse may become a pediatric nurse practitioner.
Overall, the field of pediatrics involves more than just healthcare. Your children are often unable to verbally express what hurts or why they do not feel well. They are also often afraid of medical procedures, shots and testing.
This is why pediatrics is a profession where you must be able to communicate and understand the things a child is unable to say. The main idea is to provide comfort tot both the child and the child’s parents or guardians. For most individuals in the field of children’s healthcare, the most important benefit is working with children to help them become healthy as they grow into adults.
Most medical professional have sick pay and vacation time in their compensation programs. Vacation is usually about three or four weeks for pediatricians who work in clinics or hospitals. A large number of pediatricians report taking three to four weeks of vacation each year while a partner their practice tends to patients.
Consulting with other professionals in the field is a typical activity for professionals in children’s healthcare. They also discuss their findings with patients and their parents or guardians before recommending treatments. Pediatrics may also advise parents on diet, immunizations, exercise and other factors important to the children’s health.
The most logical motivation of getting into pediatrics is a desire to help kids obtain and maintain good health. The advantages of this job include the personal satisfaction derived from treating sick children and the joy of working with kids on a daily basis.
Watch the video above and discover what you need to know about a career path as a pediatrician.