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This is for a research so after answering my question, if you want, please state your first and last name. How hard are the courses leading up to be a pediatrician? Is it difficult to work in a fast pace environment such as a hospital? Is it easier to be a general pediatrician or a pediatric surgeon?

#pediatrician #medicine #pediatrics #doctor #medicine #doctor #healthcare #hospital-and-healthcare #med-school #research

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Lena’s Answer

Hi Camila, I can definitely help to answer your questions as I am someone who also hopes to pursue a career in pediatric surgery. First and foremost, I agree with Mr. Archer in that the first steps are always to prioritize your education. Something that I did very early on in my student career was to involve myself with research, and there are many research opportunities for students out there, even in high school. In fact, I think one of the biggest misconceptions among students is that you can't have an internship before college--that is completely untrue! There are many programs all over the US dedicated to giving ambitious students more experience in various fields of study.

As for the courses, they are what you make them. College and eventually medical school will always be difficult, and since many institutions look heavily at grades when you apply to programs which further your career or education, merit is always a factor that will be considered. That being said, you also have a unique opportunity to truly focus on what interests you most with little interference from other classes, unlike high school. I think my favorite analogy about college and medical school is that it's like eating pancakes for breakfast every single morning. Let's say you really like pancakes, and that you see yourself always eating them for breakfast in the future. Great, right? Well that also means every single morning you are eating the same thing, making the same thing, and working to improve the same thing. So, you are going to get tired of those pancakes at some point because you're human. And yet, in the end of however many years you spend eating pancakes, you will probably still love them, and you will still, to some degree, get satisfaction and enjoyment out of eating them even if they got annoying at times. College as a pre-med and as a medical school student is a lot like that analogy--every day you will be working for your goal to work in peds, and yeah, that will get challenging at times, but in the end it will hopefully also be worth it.

As for residency, fellowship, and eventually becoming an attending pediatrician, I also agree with all that Mr. Archer described. Surgery is always regarded as a bit more difficult than non-surgical, and the years you spend completing your residency also reflect that. Most non-surgical residencies are 3-4 years long, depending on factors like research and chief residency etc. Surgical residencies, however, typically range in length from 5-8 years depending on the specialty, and then usually require a fellowship in addition in order for you to sub-specialize. For example, I hope to purse a general surgery residency (5 yrs) and then a pediatric surgery fellowship (2 years) and would also like to get some accreditation in pediatric critical care medicine. All in all, I likely won't be an attending until I'm 35 years old, and that is a grueling and long trajectory to pursue if you're truly not passionate about it every step of the way. But, like the pancake analogy, if you truly love what you're doing, I know it will be more than worth it in the end.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need more help!
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Richard’s Answer

This is a great question. The first step to becoming a pediatrician is finishing high school and applying for colleges or community college. Many people opt-into going to a community college for their first two years of college to save money. The next step is continuing to make good grades in college while completing the set of pre-medical courses required to apply to medical school. Different medical schools have different pre-medical requirement courses, but there are lots of overlaps. Generally, you must take general biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics courses. After completing all the requirements, you must apply to medical school. The duration of medical school is four years, after which you will apply for a pediatric residency.

The courses leading up to becoming a pediatrician, including the pre-requisite college courses, are very intensive and require a lot of studying and hard work.

It is difficult to work in a fast-paced environment such as a hospital. However, because it requires many years of training, you will adapt very quickly.

Obtaining a pediatric residency or general surgery should not be difficult after residency due to the high number of open positions. However if you choose the pediatric surgery fellowship, these are quite competitive.

Generally, it is easier to become a non-surgical type of doctor. This means it's easier to become a general pediatrician than pediatric surgeon.

Summary:

First step: Apply to college
Second step: Finish pre-medical requirements and make good grades
Third step: Apply to medical school
Fourth step: Finish medical school and apply to pediatric residency
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