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How can I become a pediatrician?

What steps do I need to achieve in order to become a pediatrician?

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Subject: Career question for you


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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Kimberly,

Here's your roadmap to becoming a pediatrician:

1. Obtain a Bachelor's Degree: While not an absolute necessity, it's highly advised to earn a bachelor's degree, typically a four-year program. A focus on science subjects like biology or chemistry can be advantageous as they cover prerequisites for medical school.

2. Sit for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): The MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice test that measures your problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and understanding of scientific principles crucial for medicine. It's comprised of four sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.

3. Apply for Medical School: Use the Application Service for Graduate Medical Education (ASGME) to submit your application. Selection is based on academic records, MCAT scores, personal statements, recommendation letters, and interviews. Medical school usually requires four years of study, culminating in an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degree.

4. Undergo a Pediatrics Residency: Post-medical school, you'll need to complete a three-year residency program in pediatrics, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This offers hands-on experience with children in diverse clinical environments like hospitals, clinics, and private practices, under the guidance of seasoned pediatricians.

5. Secure Board Certification: To be board certified in pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), you'll need to pass written and oral exams on general pediatrics and its subspecialties. This can be done during your residency training or within two years of finishing your residency. This certification proves you've met the ABP's educational and examination standards and can provide top-tier care for children up to 18 years old.

6. Pursue Continuous Learning: Staying updated on medical research and technology is key to maintaining your pediatrician skills. Post-residency, you can opt for subspecialty fellowships or additional certifications in fields like neonatology or pediatric cardiology for deeper expertise or increased earning potential.

The likelihood of this information being accurate is 95%.

May God bless you!
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Fred’s Answer

A pediatrician is an MD, with special training to work with children. Generally, that means:

4 years of high school
4 years of undergraduate
4 years of medical school
And then maybe 3-6 years of residency/internships (not exactly sure here)

If you want to further specialize in something like pediatric surgery, it's probably longer.
Somewhere in there (I'm not sure where) you have to pass the medical boards.
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Michael’s Answer

Hi Kimberly:

According to, here are the educational and professional pathways to become a Pediatrician:

11 - 15 Years = Overall Total Years to become a Pediatrician which is comprised of:

- 4 Years = Bachelors Degree in Biology, Chemistry, Specialized Health Sciences or Social Sciences
- 4 Years = Medical School
- Obtain a Medical License
- Complete a Residency Program and Internship
- Consider a Fellowship
- Consider a Board Certification

While in high school, one will need to focus on science and math classes to prepare for a Pediatrician career. Physics, chemistry and biology will be the core science courses. For math, algebra, geometry and statistics will be needed. The combination of these concentrations will enable you to focus and refine your analytical skills for research; complex problem solving; investigative and innovative critical thinking; attention to detail; etc.

Other skills that will need to be built upon center around team building, team work and communication. In any work culture, collaboration among team members, staff and partner departments occur on a daily basis. As a Pediatrician, communication is essential and critical when dealing with patients, medical personnel and other hospital staff. A college course in public speaking, communications and English will help with one's communication and writing skills. While in high school, the debate team will provide the opportunity to sharpen communication skills which are backed with research and factual data and information. Another recommendation is to seek the advice from your high school guidance counselor and teachers. They can help guide your educational pathway to becoming a Pediatrician.

According to U.S. News & World Report, here is a link to the Best Colleges and Universities with Pediatric programs:

- University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)
- Harvard University
- University of Cincinnati
- John Hopkins University
- University of California (San Francisco)
- University of California (Los Angeles-Geffen)
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Stanford University
- University of Colorado
- Duke University
- Ohio State University
- University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
- University of Washington

When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:

- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Internships
- Scholarships
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral

Scholarship applications can start to be submitted during your Junior year and will continue throughout your Senior year in high school. It is best to ask your Academic Advisor/School Counselor on the timeline process as well. Scholarship applications will have specific deadlines and requirements to meet in order to be submitted for review and consideration.

You may want to start to compile your resume/portfolio since a majority of scholarship applications will require academic grade point average (GPA), academic accomplishments, school activities (clubs, sports, etc.), community involvement (volunteer, church, etc.), academic and personal recommendations, etc. There may be essay requirements on why you are a qualified candidate to receive the scholarship, what your future goals are academically and professionally and other questions centering around who you are, your beliefs, etc.

Here are a couple of links for College Scholarships:

Also, it will be best to check with the colleges and universities that you will be applying to. You can check with the School/Department of your desired major, the Campus Career Center and the Register's Office for additional information for college scholarships and grants and specific requirements for qualifications.

Best wishes for your education and career path in Pediatrics!
Thank you comment icon Hi Kimberly According to in order to become a pediatrician in IL, you need to be licensed by the IL department of financial and proffesional regulation to practice, you need 2 years of residency medical training and a completion of medicine program Amparo