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How many years of college do you need to become a kid doctor?

Greetings! I'm Ms. Tipton at the International Community School. My 3rd graders have a few questions and I'd like to share your advice with them. Thanks in advance!

#pediatrics #college


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John’s Answer

Pediatricians require a 4-year Bachelor’s degree followed by a 4-year Medical degree. Pediatricians often obtain undergraduate degrees in Biology or related majors and a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree. After graduating from medical school, aspiring Pediatricians must enter residency programs. In a residency, doctors will receive paid, on-the-job training. These can last anywhere from 3-4 years, depending on the state. They take place in a hospital and offer an opportunity for medical school graduates to begin treating patients under the supervision of an experienced doctor. Key skills that will help you as a Pediatrician include strong medical skills, dexterity to perform procedures, stamina to make rounds, problem-solving ability, possess patience, attention to detail and interpersonal skills.

Pediatrician job duties include taking patients' medical histories, examining patients, ordering any necessary medical tests, and creating a plan of treatment for the patient. They must be able to communicate this plan and any medical options to the parents of the patient and answer any questions that they may have concerning the course of action. Pediatrician responsibilities may also include administering vaccinations, providing preventative healthcare, and teaching patients and their parents about proper healthcare, like hygiene and nutrition. Pediatricians generally work in physicians' offices and usually work in full-time positions. The job often requires doctors to be on call and work irregular hours as needed.

John recommends the following next steps:

High school students should focus on all core subjects. While Biology and Chemistry are important courses for future Pediatricians, you will also need strong English and Math skills.
Aspiring Pediatricians need to earn a Bachelor’s degree before enrolling in a medical program. Most medical schools accept students with any type of undergraduate degree. However, Pediatricians tend to major in Science-related fields, such as Biology and Chemistry.
As with other Physicians, Pediatricians need to earn a Medical degree from an accredited medical program. Medical programs are offered through universities, colleges, and independent medical schools and typically last four years.
After completing medical school, students must enter a residency program. For aspiring pediatricians, this residency program must be in pediatrics and may last about 3 to 4 years. Commonly, these residencies take place in a hospital and provide students with invaluable hands-on learning experiences.

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Ruth’s Answer

To become a kid doctor (Pediatrician), you have to attend a 4 year college and obtain your Bachelor's degree, then 4 years of medical school, then 3-7 years of Pediatric Residency/Fellowship for a total of a 11-15 years. It sounds like a long time but it really isn't. You can potentially be a Pediatric doctor (kid doctor) by the age of 29. I encourage you to follow your dreams. Take one step at a time and before you know it, you will be a doctor. Stay encouraged!

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Pritesh’s Answer

Please reference this link for information related to "kid doctor", also known as a Pediatrician: https://learn.org/articles/What_Education_Is_Required_to_Be_a_Pediatrician.html

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John’s Answer

Becoming a pediatrician (kid doctor) takes many years of schooling and training.... on average 4 years of college, 2-3 years in Medical School, and 1-2 years in Hospital Residency. It's a difficult path but very rewarding and inspiring in knowing you are helping others and making a difference in their health and their lives.

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Nancy’s Answer

Hello! A student will need to complete 4 years of college, then 4 years in medical school. After that, you will need to spend time as a resident (doctor in training). The years spent as a resident depend on the chosen area of expertise.

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Steve’s Answer

My son is in medical school now and from what I can see regarding his schedule, it takes about 14 years to become a general doctor of kids. Here is the breakdown.

There is 4 years of undergraduate work ideally in a college with a strong pre-medical (PRE-MED) program.
There is 4 years of Medical School, post under-grad college.
There is at least 3 years of Residency.
There could be 3+ years of Fellowship in Kids (Pediatrician ) program.

Stay focused and develop great study skills and you will get there, along with a lot of hard work and perseverance.

Hi Steve: First, congratulations to your son. This is great advice and your timeline is 100% on target. I too have a son that is starting his Fellowship (Pediatrician) program this year and we are at step #4; I'm so excited. Thank you for sharing. Sheila Jordan

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Alton’s Answer

To become a pediatrician, a doctor for kids, you must first graduate from medical school before going on to specialize in the field of pediatrics. This requires completing four years of college, four years of medical school, and then three years in an accredited residency program for pediatricians. This post does a good job detailing the requirements and career path for a pediatrician - http://doctorly.org/how-to-become-a-pediatrician/

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