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Hi! My name is Daniela and I want to ask a few questions about becoming a Pediatrician. How many years of college is necessary? Which are the best schools? Was it hard to find a job? What does an average day look like? Do you get plenty of days off? What training and certification are needed? Do you need to complete exams after you are already a pediatrician to keep up with the most current medical knowledge? And, What was the most challenging part of becoming a pediatrician? Can any pediatrician please answer these.

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Middle School student who is interested in the field of pediatrics. #pediatrician #medicine #doctor #pediatrics #professional

Not a pediatrician, but wanting to do something similar, I know that you that you would have to get a bachelor's degree and also go to med school, you would also have to do residency afterwards. All the best. Anvi C. Translate
Thank you! Daniela C. Translate
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Richard’s Answer

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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.
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Thomas’s Answer

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Being a Pediatrician is a wonderful career with full time and part time employment options. Applying yourself academically is very important but grades and activities especially volunteer activities are equally important. 4 year College, 4 years Medical School and Residency/Internship are 3 years to be a general pediatrician. The work and studying are challenging but if you love science, people, children this will blend into a wonderful career.
You have to take the College entry test - ACT or SAT depending on your region/college requests. In college you take the MCAT also know as Medical School Admission Test. Once into Medical School there are part 1 and 2 of the National Medical Boards. After Residency, there is another Test for the Pediatric Boards which you take every 5-10 years. The test sound scary but you gain knowledge along the way and the test are challenging but very passable.
You can work anywhere in the country, city, rural, schools. The most enjoyable part of the career is seeing a child and family grow and develop. You learn so much from reading but even more from listening to others stories. In a typical day you see well visits for newborn to 21 year olds and sick visits adding up to 20 patients a day on average. Some providers choose to work in the hospital seeing newborns and admitted ill patients while more providers work in office settings. As I mentioned, if you love children and families , you will love a career doing what you love. Good luck on your journey and don’t forget to smell and see the roses along the way❤️
Thank you for the information! Daniela C. Translate
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Jessica’s Answer

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While I am not a pediatrician, I am a college student who is also pre-medicine. Becoming a pediatrician takes a lot of hard work, but it’s achievable!! You first have to go to undergraduate school for 4 years, medical school for 4 years, then residency for another 2 years; that’s 10 years of school total! There is no right answer to what school you should go to as there are many good options. I recommend doing research on your state schools as well as looking at the top ranked pre-medicine schools in the nation. College Board has a webpage where you enter what you want from a college into a search tool and it narrows down schools for you based on your answers. That is how I found Creighton University! As far as certifications go you will need to graduate medical school as well as obtain a practice license. Most states require to retake medical practice exams every 5 years to make sure you are staying on top of current research. The most difficult thing about becoming any type of medical professional is the amount of work you have to apply to school. Most pre-medical students drop out by their sophomore year of college due to the amount of work that is required to get good grades. However, if you are determined and work hard you can do it. For you I would recommend looking at potential undergraduate colleges that you may be interested in. I would also take as many sciences classes as you can in high school, and maybe try to get on a scientific research team, volunteer at a hospital, or get your CNA certificate. These will all help your resumé however they are not necessary.

Jessica recommends the following next steps:

  • Take science classes in high school
  • Volunteer at a hospital
  • Shadow a pediatrician to see the job for yourself
Thank you! That was really helpful and it sure answered some of my questions. I hope the best for you and your career! Daniela C. Translate
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Rachel’s Answer

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I'll try tackling your first question:

Pediatrics requires a medical doctorate. This means that you will have to complete college with a bachelor’s degree 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 pediatrics 3 year residency.
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Rachel’s Answer

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For your second question:

Any 4 year university should be able to provide you with all of the premed requirements (1 year biology, 1 year inorganic chemistry, 1 year organic chemistry + labs, physics, calculus, and biochemistry). I would look at each school individually and see which fits your personality and desired major (does not have to be science) best.
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Rachel’s Answer

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Sixth question "What training and certifications are needed?"

Once you complete your three year residency, you will sit for the pediatric boards. This is a final exam that will allow you to become board-certified as a pediatrician. Following this final exam, you will be required to perform a certain number of continuing medical education hours. You will also have to fulfill maintenance of certification requirements.
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Rachel’s Answer

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Fifth question "Do you get plenty of days off?"

Many pediatricians in private practice work about 4 days per week. They will occasionally need to take night and weekend call. You will play a large role in determining your schedule and how many days you would like to work. Obviously, if you work less, you will make less money. It is a balance.
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Rachel’s Answer

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Fourth Question "What does an average day look like?"

Most pediatricians work about 4 days a week and have an 8am-5pm schedule. Some pediatricians see patients in the hospital, but the majority see patients in clinic on an outpatient basis.
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Rachel’s Answer

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Third question "Was it hard to find a job?"

Once you have completed your medical training and residency, you should not have difficulty finding a job as a pediatrician. There is a huge need for primary care providers in the United States.
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