A lot of students have asked about the path to becoming a pediatrician so I thought I'd share some of what professionals had to say with you here.
It takes at least 13 years post high school to become a pediatrician (4 years in college to get an undergraduate degree, 4 years in medical school, and 5 years of residency).
Mark Lester (General Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine) in Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland gave another student great advice on a similar question, he said:
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.
Read all of his advice here: https://www.careervillage.org/questions/10745/does-it-really-take-13-years-to-become-a-pediatrician
And according to Carol (Physician, Pediatrician, Owner at Shady Grove Pediatric Associates) in Washington:
If you want to do general pediatrics you then get a job. If you want to sub-specialize in something like cardiology or gastroenterology then you do a fellowship which may be anywhere from 2 to 4 years. During medical school and residency you take various national tests to qualify for licensure in the state you want to work. Read more of her advice here: https://www.careervillage.org/questions/10329/how-many-years-does-it-take-to-become-a-pediatrician-what-does-this-career-path-look-like-specifically