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What do I have to major in and do in college to become a pediatrician.What can I do now??

I’m a sophomore in high school and would like to start researching colleges and studying now to make the process easier

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Subject: Career question for you

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Gina’s Answer

To become a pediatrician, you will need to complete several steps, including specific educational requirements and training. Here's an overview of the path to becoming a pediatrician and what you can do now to prepare:

1. Undergraduate Education: Start by earning a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. There is no specific major required for medical school, but you will need to complete prerequisite coursework in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. It's a good idea to choose a major that aligns with your interests and allows you to excel academically.

2. Medical School: After completing your undergraduate degree, you will need to attend medical school. Medical school typically takes four years to complete. During this time, you will study basic medical sciences, clinical skills, and gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations.

3. Residency: Following medical school, you will need to complete a residency program in pediatrics. Residency typically lasts three years and provides specialized training in pediatric medicine. During this time, you will work under the supervision of experienced pediatricians, gaining practical skills and knowledge in diagnosing and treating pediatric patients.

4. Licensure and Certification: After completing your residency, you will need to obtain a medical license to practice medicine. This involves passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). Additionally, you may choose to pursue board certification in pediatrics through the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).

What you can do now to prepare:

1. Focus on Academics: Take challenging courses in high school, particularly in science and math. Build a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as these subjects will be important in college and medical school.

2. Volunteer and Shadow: Seek opportunities to volunteer at hospitals, clinics, or organizations that work with children. This will give you exposure to the healthcare field and help you understand the role of a pediatrician. Additionally, consider shadowing a pediatrician to gain firsthand experience and insights into the profession.

3. Research Colleges: Start researching colleges and universities that offer strong pre-medical programs and have a good track record of sending students to medical school. Look for schools with resources and opportunities for pre-med students, such as research opportunities, pre-med clubs, and advising services.

4. Maintain a Well-Rounded Profile: In addition to academics, engage in extracurricular activities that demonstrate your leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Participate in community service, join clubs or organizations, and pursue hobbies or interests outside of academics.

5. Seek Guidance: Talk to your high school guidance counselor or reach out to professionals in the medical field, such as pediatricians or medical school admissions officers. They can provide valuable advice and guidance on the path to becoming a pediatrician.

Remember, the journey to becoming a pediatrician requires dedication, hard work, and a genuine passion for working with children. Stay focused on your goals, continue to excel academically, and seek out opportunities to gain experience and knowledge in the field of medicine.
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Pooja Vijay’s Answer

To become a pediatrician, you'll need to complete several steps, including specific educational requirements and practical experience. A general outline of what you'll need to do are Undergraduate Education, Residency Training, Licensure and Certification, and Continuing Education.
While you're still in high school or early in your undergraduate studies, there are several steps you can take to prepare for a career in pediatric medicine are Focus on Science and Math, Extracurricular Activities, and Research.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Naana
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Rafael’s Answer

Hi Damon! As a high school sophomore, you can start preparing for a career as a pediatrician by excelling in science and math courses, volunteering or shadowing in healthcare settings, and researching colleges with strong pre-med programs. Remember, becoming a pediatrician requires dedication, hard work, and a genuine passion for helping children. Stay focused, seek guidance, and explore opportunities that align with your goals. Best of luck!
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Damon’s Answer

Biology, mathematics, Chemistry, Bio-Chemistry, and more. The easiest way to find out is the search ona a college of your choice that offers the program that you want. After that, there are MCATs, and Medical School.
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Megan’s Answer

To add a bit more to the already great advice being given-

Get as much hands-on experience as you can!
- Job shadow anyone in the medical field
-See if any local hospitals do job shadow days or career events for students
- Visit college campuses
-Volunteer in hospitals
-See if your school offers a CTE program for medical programs or has any medical classes you can take

I hope this helps!
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Ysamar’s Answer

Hi Gina,

To become a pediatrician, you will need to major in a science-related field in college, such as biology, chemistry, or biochemistry. It's also important to take courses in math and physics. During college, you will need to maintain a high GPA and prepare to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in your junior or senior year.

Here are some steps you can take now to prepare:

1. Focus on your studies: Take challenging courses in science, math, and English to prepare for college.

2. Volunteer: Look for opportunities to volunteer at hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare settings to gain experience and demonstrate your commitment to the field.

3. Join relevant clubs or organizations: Join clubs or organizations related to science, medicine, or community service to further demonstrate your interest and commitment.

4. Start researching colleges: Look for colleges with strong pre-med programs and a good track record of preparing students for medical school.

5. Talk to your school counselor: Your counselor can help you plan your high school courses and provide guidance on preparing for college.

6. Shadow a pediatrician: If possible, shadow a pediatrician to gain firsthand experience and insight into the profession.

Starting early and staying focused will help you build a strong foundation for your future career as a pediatrician.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Naana
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Rita’s Answer

For Peds this is your timeline:
4 years high school
4 years university
4 years medical school
3 years internship/residency

At this stage of the game, I don't think you need to do much but just study hard and get into college. While in college, I would spend my summers working as a scribe. This gives you the experience and knowledge and make medical school so much easier. Not only that, if you are working as a scribe, you can speak with doctors which is priceless. You can see if this is really what you want to do. When I was your age, I was naive and also wanted to get into medical school. I did not know what I was getting myself into. Perhaps after working, you may realize this is not what you want to do and you just saved yourself a lot of time and money.
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