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Does it really take 13 years to become a pediatrician?

im in 11th grade in Sf, and i really want to do something in the medical field. So like a pediatrician or nurse and i want to know how long it takes because i just want to go to school for 4-5 years and get a job right after i get out of college. #doctor #nursing #pediatrics

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi Michelle, It may not take 13 years but it does take some time.
After high school, you will want to go to college and be a premed major. Earning your bachelor's degree will probably take about 4 years. After you earn your undergraduate degree, you will apply for (and ideally attend) medical school - another 4 years.
After you graduate from medical school, you will go into a residency. These take about 3 or 4 years to complete and you are still technically a student BUT you will start earning a pay check. At this point, you are looking at about 12 years of school but 3 of them - you are also a working professional.
Because medicine is an ever changing field, you will never stop being a student - especially if you want to go into a specialized area of medicine.

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Mark J’s Answer

It sounds long but 11 years is not that long considering that every year is different. I am a practicing pediatrician and I remember high school like it was yesterday. Four years of college is needed. But every year is different because you are taking different classes every semester. You are learning about the world and yourself and you are setting goals and achieving them which builds your confidence. Then medical school. The first two years are mostly in a classroom so its a lot like college except you learn exclusively things in the medical field. The third year you will be learning how to see patients and apply the knowledge you gained in the first two years. Your classroom is the hospital or office where you and a trained doctor will see patients together. And the fourth year you are more independent to care for patients yourself while still learning. After you graduate medical school you are a doctor. In medical school we learn about every major specialty (Surgery, Pediatrics, Adult Medicine, etc) but after we graduate we now pick a specialty and work in that field exclusively for 3 years or more. A surgeon has at minimum 5 years of training whereas pediatrics or adult medicine is 3 years. During these years after medical school you DO get a paycheck. Technically you are now working in medicine. But we call it extra training because there is still so much to learn. Frankly, in medicine, we practice life-long learning. We learn from every patient even after training is complete. Pediatrics is 3 years of training but if you want to become even more specialized it could be longer. So yes, 4 years of college plus 4 years of medical school plus 3 years of training but believe me each year is completely different and you will never have a more impactful job than helping sick children regain their health. If you want to do this then do not let the time line scare you. It goes by in a flash and now I get to do what I want to do with my life for the rest of my life.

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