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How do you get started in pediatrics?

How do you get started in pediatrics and what colleges have the best programs to major in pediatrics?

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Kess’s Answer

Hi Zoey!

Great question! You'll need to complete medical school to become a pediatrician. Here is the general breakdown:

1. Complete high school

2. Research what college you want to go to for your bachelor's degree. Most medical schools will consider any degree as long as you've completed the prerequisites for the med school.
(I have a bachelor's in biomedical science with minors in chemistry and sociology, and my friends in medical school have English, Russian history, and Psychology degrees.)

3. Take as many classes as you can for your degree at your community college to save money (but make sure they transfer to a university)! Apply for financial aid through FAFSA. Some community colleges have programs to get you from that community college and into a nearby university.

4. Apply for and graduate with at least a bachelor's degree.

5. Prepare for and take the MCAT (medical college admissions test).

6. Prepare for and apply to medical schools (both MD (medical doctor) and DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) can become pediatricians).

7. Complete 4 years of medical school (the first 2 years are book learning, second two years are clinical rotations). Licensing exams are done after the 2nd year of medical school and another after the 3rd year. Then the 3rd one is done during residency.

8. Apply for and attend the pediatric residency - another 3 years of training if you want to do general pediatrics. (Take your 3rd major exam here.)

GOOD LUCK! YOU CAN DO IT!!!


You might also consider pediatric nursing (RN is probably the best way to go), counseling, or one of a myriad of different options.
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Hannah’s Answer

Pediatricians are doctors so in order to get there, you first have to finish college then get into medical school. After medical school, you complete residency in the specialty you are interested in. It doesn’t matter which major you end up being in college as long as you complete your premedical requirements which in general is a variety of science classes. Additionally, most medical schools also want their applicants to be well rounded so having other activities whether it is research or volunteer experience is helpful and it can be in healthcare or outside of healthcare. To see if healthcare is the right field for you, I would recommend volunteering in a healthcare setting and many hospitals are frequently looking for volunteers.
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Dee’s Answer

It depends a lot on what you want to do in pediatrics. I am a pediatric occupational therapist. If you are interested in working in pediatrics with special needs, I would recommend any number of therapy programs. I am of course, partial to occupational therapy as that's my field but there is also speech therapy and physical therapy as the major players. May hospitals now have child life specialists to support children and their parents. A background in early childhood special education would be a great degree to have no matter what you decide to do. This opens doors in child care centers, schools, neighborhood and community programs and early intervention programs. I hope that helps!
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