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How hard is it to become a pediatrician?

My name is Chastity Vincent and my goal in life is to become a pediatrician. I am doing research about pediatricians and have a lot of unanswered questions. I hope this website will help me.

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Rachel’s Answer

As stated above you will need to get into medical school with all of the pre-med requirements. Once you are accepted though, pediatrics is not a competitive residency and as long as you pass your classes and the STEP I exam, you should be a good applicant.
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Dr. Frank’s Answer

We always need more pediatricians. Kids can be challenging to work with but treating them is very gratifying. It's a long road to become a pediatrician including (after high school) 4 yrs of college, 4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency.

The median four-year cost of medical school (including expenses and books) was $278,455 for private schools, and $207,866 for public schools in 2013 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The pay is lower than other medical specialties and hours are tough. In addition, dealing with the parents are harder than dealing with the actual patients.
Thank you. Chastity V.
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Richard’s Answer

In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.

Pick a college that suits your personality and a major that interests you. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.

Aside from this, any major is acceptable as long as you complete the prerequisite courses.

Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters

Pick a summer during college to self study for the MCAT or take a MCAT prep course.

Take the MCAT and apply to medical school. You will be invited to on-location interviews to choose a school.

Next, four years of medical school. And the application process starts over for residency.

After 3 years of training in pediatric residency you can enter practice.
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Estelle’s Answer

Completing the pre-med requirements with a high GPA, scoring high on the MCAT, and getting into med school are difficult. It requires grit & determination. Med school is lonely, challenging, and a lot of work. Everyone I knew in med school who wanted to be a pediatrician matched into a residency spot. Good luck!