Pediatrician Career Information

Pediatricians are doctors who specialize in the care of young people, and will often care for the time they are born to when they are adolescents. They are involved in diagnosing and treating injuries in young patients, as wealth counseling them to situations, such as family problems.

Job Description

Like all other physicians, the primary responsibility of a pediatrician is to diagnose illnesses. They will conduct physical examinations and research patient's medical histories. They may also order specialized tests, such as x-rays or blood tests. Because they deal with children, pediatricians usually encounter problems such as allergies, acne, poisoning or drug abuse. After this, the pediatrician then recommends treatment. During the treatment process, pediatricians communicate with people involved in the treatment areas such as social workers, family members and other health care professionals, like nurses.

Working Conditions

Pediatricians can often be found working in community level offices or doctor clinics. Administration takes up a big part of the day for pediatricians, they usually get involved in teaching or research or become active in community efforts to promote children's interests. For example, they can be involved in the combat against things like child abuse or obesity.

Like other doctors, pediatricians often work very long hours, especially beginning in the career during residency where they can work anywhere from 9 to 12 hours a day. They also work 45 to 70 hours per week and have very irregular work schedules.

Earnings

Pediatricians work in areas such as hospitals, clinics or government departments. Some are self-employed and they own their own practice. Often, doctors will become partners with other physicians and clinics. Some also use their skills as they teach in universities as professors. Earnings for this career choice depend on your location and experience.

New pediatricians in the field often earn anywhere between 100,000 to 120,000 per year. However, those who work in successful practices and have experience can earn up to 125,000 year. Salaried physicians who work in hospitals or other medical settings receive benefits such as health, dental and pension plans. They also receive paid sick and sick days. Those who are self-employed, usually apply their own benefits.

Education

In order to become a pediatrician, you need to attend medical school and earn a doctor of medicine degree. Most medical schools require applicants to have at least 3 to 4 years of university education, which includes completing courses in science. Many admissions are highly competitive so most applicants hold a four year bachelor's degree  and some get a masters degree.

In order to get into medical school, you will need to complete the required courses and take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Medical school will be 4 years, then a residency training period will follow. Residency tends to take up to five years. After this, you need to pass exams in order to become certified.