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What steps would you recommend I take to enter, advance, and thrive in this field?

I'm a 21 year old female. Just started at a trade school. Thinking of doing CNA training. Also wanting to become a General Pediatrician in the future. Wondering what steps you took or you recommend I take to enter this field. #medicine #healthcare #doctor #career #generalpediatrician #cna


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Richard’s Answer

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

Pick a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. 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

Try to find opportunities to pursue research.

Volunteer at your local hospital or low-income clinic. Ask physicians, PAs or other clinical providers if you can shadow them.


During college study for and complete the MCAT. Devote an entire summer to studying for the MCAT and consider paying for a prep course if you can afford it.

My son used MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2019-2020: Online + Book + 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep) Kaplan Test Prep
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It was about $140 and he achieved his goal score.



Apply to medical schools during your last year of college.

Medical school takes 4 years to complete. Pediatricians then complete a 3 year residency

Thank you so much for your informational answer! Marlene U.

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Heather’s Answer

I agree with Alida, finish CNA school. You can work while you go to school do medical school pre-reqs and see what area of pediatrics that you would like to go into. Having hospital experience gives you an insight that not everyone has applying to med school or other healthcare professions. Even as a CNA you could always if in your area a position at a children hospital.

Thank you so much for your feedback! As I read more and more people’s answers and talk to more people, I realize that many have also given me this advice. :) Marlene U.

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Alida’s Answer

Finish CNA training and get your license. After that continue to pursue your education with pre-requisites while you work and gain experience in the field. Once you are in college try to get a high GPA (especially in the science courses) to make your application to medical school more appealing. Also, while your pursuing your undergrad degree volunteer within your community and join a student club within college. Doing a little bit more apart from your courses will help you with landing some scholarships (very much needed). Hope that helps!

Thank you so much for this! This was super helpful and very encouraging! Marlene U.

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Rachel’s Answer

In order to become a pediatrician, you will need to complete college with a bachelors as well as all of the pre med requirements (1 year biology, 1 year inorganic chemistry, 1 year organic chemistry + labs, physics, calculus, and biochemistry). GPA should probably be 3.5 or better (preferably >3.8). You will also have to score well on the MCAT. Once accepted to medical school, as long as you pass your classes and perform reasonably well during your four years of medical training, you can apply for a pediatric 3 year residency.

Thank you! I like how your answer takes me through the educational requirements :) Marlene U.

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