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I want to become a pediatrician because I love working with kids but the thing is I heard its difficult so I wanted to know how hard is it

my name is Fatoumata people usually call me fat I'm 17 going to college next school year want to become a pediatrician #doctor #pediatrics #pediatrician


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Sheila’s Answer

Hello Fatoumata:

Thank you for your question. My son is a resident Pediatrician and here are the steps he took to start his journey to become a Pediatrician:

1) Make high scores on SAT and ACT
2) Select a college/university that offers at least "Biological Science" (you don't have to major in Pre-Med)
3) Score well on MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) the "first time"; retake it if necessary
4) Apply to "ALL" the Med Schools you are interested in; from your top choice to the lowest choice
5) Find an Internship (paid or volunteer) over a summer
5 a) 4 yrs of Med School
5 b) DO NOT limit yourself to where you would like to get Matched because you may get put on a "Wait List" and then you'll have to compete with new students and the clock starts all over again
6 a) 3 - 4 yrs of Residency
6 b) Fellowship (specialize) is 3 - 4 yrs

The journey ahead is long, hard and quite expensive (lots of debt). But you can do this. I wish the best of luck to you!

~ Sheila

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Rachel’s Answer

Pediatrics is a great field requiring 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. 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. This is a challenging path, but very rewarding.

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Kei’s Answer

Hi Fatoumata. Being a pediatrician can be rewarding and challenging. You deal with not only kids but also their worried parents. Some kids depending on age may be able to tell you right away what they feel while some will not. It requires a certain skill and patience to deal with kids who are either afraid of doctors or cannot express themselves. My kids' pediatrician is one of a kind. He relates with them. You can see how he adjusts depending on the age of his patients. Prescribing medicines to kids to make them feel better is one thing but telling them about a critical condition is another. You just have to find the right approach.

If you know any pediatricians in your area, shadowing with them can make you learn. You can interview them or spend a few hours with them so you can see how they deal with their patients.

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Valerie’s Answer

Hi Fatoumata! My name is Valerie, and I am currently a medical student. Being a pediatrician is a very rewarding career, although it is a long road to get there. If you want to become a pediatrician, first you will attend college. You will want to major in something that helps you get all the classes you need for medical school (I majored in biology at Penn State!) You have to get really good grades in college, and then you will take your MCAT. This test helps medical schools see how well you understand the basic sciences and predicts how well you will do in medical school. Once you go to medical school you will do 4 more years of schooling. Your last year is when you decide what specialty you want to do. Pediatrics is really great, however there is a lot more than just liking kids. You are dealing with really sick kids, and frustrated parents. You have to stay calm and collected during emotional and intense situations. I suggest trying to shadow local pediatricians near you to see a day in their life.
Best of luck!!

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Estelle’s Answer

Becoming a pediatrician is a long journey and requires dedication, but the rewards are absolutely worth the effort. I agree with the idea of shadowing a pediatrician to see what it's like on the day to day practice. You will need good grades and a strong MCAT score plus the shadowing hours for your medical school application. Good luck!

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Ira’s Answer

Hello Fatoumata, I am a physician in practice for almost 40 years. My specialty is anesthesiology which is the physician that typically takes care of patients undergoing surgery. Though the specialty entails many different aspects of critical care and pain management as well. There are many different levels of work in the healthcare care industry even within particular specialties such as pediatrics which I see you have an interest in. Also you don’t have to be a pediatrician to take care of kids. There is a sub specialty in anesthesia that specializes in pediatric anesthesiology where you take care of children undergoing surgery. You may love children and that is wonderful but the trip to do that is very diverse and you will be introduced to many different areas of medicine on that journey. You may find other areas of interest along the way.

The physician is at the top of the food chain in medicine. You have the most responsibility and the education and training is long. There are other levels in medicine, nurses, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, etc that are a bit easier to achieve and may yield the same if not more career satisfaction.

The road to becoming a physician, or other healthcare providers to various degrees is long and very time consuming. Getting into medical school that leads to a career as a physician is very competitive and requires a well rounded education with excellent grades in the basic sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics) with a Bachelor’s degree at a four year college or university. There is a standardized test call the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) that tests you in those basic sciences plus reading comprehension and quantitative reasoning. The competition to get into a medical school is very high. But once you are in, you can expect to graduate if you continue to work hard. Few people flunk out. Schools want you to succeed. They are very selective in who they admit and only admit those that they feel will succeed with hard work. After medical school you enter a postgraduate residency training program in the specialty of your choosing.

Medicine is not a job. It is a career that you devote much of your time to which takes a toll on other relationships. Those around you need a level understanding that many do not possess. It is best to be in a position to put 100% into this endeavor. It requires passion. You need to love medicine. It may be beneficial to find a physician you can shadow and see what their days are like. Seek out physicians in different specialties. There are many. There is a saying, “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” I personally have not found anything truer. I love what I do and have done for 40 years.

In addition to the hard work required to get in and through medical school, there is an enormous cost. There are two costs. One is the tuition of school itself at about $25-30,000 per year plus room and board. The second is the 4 years of delay in earning an income that you friends who entered the workforce after college where fortunate to get. Many have huge student loans upon graduation.

Medicine is a calling. It requires passion and love. Without either of those it can be a real chore. The amount of time needed to devote will make your life miserable if you don’t love. It is extremely rewarding to those that feel that calling.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out. Good luck in you journey. It is a journey with no destination. It is your life.

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Estelle’s Answer

Becoming a pediatrician is a long journey and requires dedication, but the rewards are absolutely worth the effort. I agree with the idea of shadowing a pediatrician to see what it's like on the day to day practice. You will need good grades and a strong MCAT score plus the shadowing hours for your medical school application. Good luck!

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