Education and Training: Medical Degree
Average Salary: $142,585 Annually
Job Outlook: Very Good
Pediatricians are medical doctors who specialize in treating children. They may work with children from birth to college age, as their specialty is focused on the youth. They work to treat their illnesses and ensure that they are provided with a clean bill of health. Though patient care is a big part of this job, there are many other responsibilities associated with the position as well.
Pediatricians work to understand the needs of their patients. They perform consultations each and every day to understand the health of their patients or what is ailing them. This is a specialized field as the patient can’t often speak for themselves, so it’s up to the pediatrician to work with the parents and develop an appropriate assessment and diagnosis.
They most often perform research to understand how to best help their patients. This is an important job of any type of doctor job, but especially so in this specialty where the patients can’t often convey all of their symptoms. They perform lab work, tests, or any number of blood tests to work towards a proper diagnosis. They work as advocates for their patients if necessary within their particular conditions. They administer immunizations and provide extensive care if necessary.
Pediatricians are also responsible for a certain amount of administrative responsibilities as well. They must handle all paperwork for the visits that they have with their patients. They must work to ensure that proper prescriptions are provided, and then handle all of the charting that goes with each patient. If they are part of a self-owned practice then they may also be responsible for generating new business, as well as handling all of the financials.
Education and Training Requirements
The first step in the educational requirements for a pediatrician is to get a bachelor’s degree, but this is only the beginning. Then they must graduate from medical school as part of their educational requirement. As this is a specialized profession, they must also complete all coursework associated with becoming a pediatrician directly. It’s required that a pediatrician get a license in the state for which they wish to practice, and all of the educational requirements must first be fulfilled before that can happen. Beyond that step, it is generally expected that a pediatrician serve a two year residency as part of their training requirements, and it is usually expected to be within the pediatrics unit. There is always a need for ongoing education for pediatricians as they must keep up with trends and procedures within the field.
Getting the Job
Initially fulfillment of all educational and training requirements becomes the most important aspect of getting hired as a pediatrician. However as they move on within their career, experience plays a major role in getting a job. Employers want to see that they have treated children of all ages and physical conditions. They want to see that they have worked within a wide array of medical environments, and that they can adapt to provide anything that the patient may need. As a pediatrician gains experience in treating children, they become quite valuable to their employer. This can only be of help to them as they wish to move on within their career and seek future employment.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development
Though it can be a somewhat competitive field at times for a good position, the reality is that there is always a need for pediatricians. This is the type of medical position that always grows to some level, no matter what the economic climate is. As babies are constantly being born, there is always a need for pediatricians. Those entering the field should be able to find proper employment. Those that gain experience and wish to grow within their field have a great chance for proper career advancement. This is all good news to those interested in a career in this specialty.
Working Conditions and Environment
There are a number of environments that a pediatrician may work within. They may work for a hospital or medical facility directly. They may work at an urgent care or community based facility as well. They are often part of a larger practice or may work as a part of their own practice. Much of the job is based in and around patient care, and this can sometimes be stressful. It’s important to be able to help patients with all sorts of health conditions and be able to respond quickly if necessary. Pediatricians must have a calming demeanor and must be able to remain calm, even in the face of stress or challenges. There are often long hours associated with this job, particularly as they are just getting started.
Salary and Benefits
Though the average salary of a pediatrician is around $142,585 per year, that is only a range. There are several different factors that may play into what a pediatrician actually earns. One of the biggest factors is the number of years they have been practicing or the level of experience that they bring to the position. Additionally where they practice, the size or type of employer, and the geographical location may play a rather large role in the salary that a pediatrician earns. Depending on the environment and employer that they work for, they may receive a rather generous benefits package. They may expect to earn great health benefits, paid vacation and sick time, tuition reimbursement, and of course a retirement savings account.
Where to Go for More Information
American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Blvd.
Elk Grove Village, IL, 60007
International Pediatric Association
Pediatric Department, Room 2D14
BC Children’s Hospital
4480 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4
(604) 875 2345
A former student of mine just became certified as a pediatric doctor, so I texted her and asked her. Her response was immediate. She said "I love kids". When dealing with young patients, who are often afraid of doctors, hospitals, shots, pain, etc., you have to have a rapport and connection to them - they have to feel that you care. So if you don't love kids, I think it would be very hard to...
A former student of mine just became certified as a pediatric doctor, so I texted her and asked her. Her response was immediate. She said "I love kids". When dealing with young patients, who are often afraid of doctors, hospitals, shots, pain, etc., you have to have a rapport and connection to them - they have to feel that you care. So if you don't love kids, I think it would be very hard to be a pediatrician.
I would think another reason is that, when giving medical care and treatment to kids, you are helping an entire family. Their world comes apart (especially the mother's, right?) when their child is hurt or sick, and a pediatrician can restore that world in some cases. As opposed to a geriatric doctor who deals with the elderly. It's a tragedy to lose one's parents in their old age, but we all expect it and it is inevitable. Anyone who loses a child would tell you it's an extra level of tragedy, because so much life was yet to be lived. A pediatrician can help in some of those cases, more so than in other medical professions perhaps. Lastly, a pediatrician works with preventive medicine - the nutrition and health of children is very important for the length and quality of their life later on, and a pediatrician has an immense amount of potential to affect that.