Board Certified Pediatrician – Overview
A pediatrician is a trained medical professional who cares for sick children. These professionals also offer preventive health services to children.
Being a pediatrician, you will have to handle the emotional and physical well-being of your little patients, sometimes till they reach adolescence.
These doctors are trained to detect physical and mental problems in children and to ensure that the children get adequate medical care.
Who is a Pediatrician?
A pediatrician is a specially-trained medical doctor focusing on medical and healthcare for infants, toddlers, and teens.
General pediatrics is a vast branch of medicine and is classified into different sub-specialties.
This way, the doctors can focus better on addressing the health and medical needs of children and adolescents alike.
As a board-certified pediatrician, you can choose any of the sub-specialties mentioned below:
- Pediatric Oncology
- Pediatric surgery
- Pediatric Cardiology
- Pediatric hospice care
- Pediatric infectious disease
- Pediatric pulmonology
- Pediatric emergency care
- Adolescent medicine
Every one of these sub-specialties has its role in improving the health of children and ensuring that they live a happy and healthy life.
How to become a Board Certified Pediatrician?
These are the basic steps to becoming a board certified pediatrician in the US:
1 – Acquire a bachelor’s degree
The first to become a board-certified pediatrician is to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Many colleges and universities offer pre-med tracks that help you study the type of coursework you can expect in medical schools.
It would help if you considered acquiring a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, Biology, Social Sciences or Specialized Health Sciences.
Apart from this, you should also complete coursework in organic and inorganic chemistry, including biology, physics and chemistry.
In the meantime, you should also prepare to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), which is necessary to gain admission into any medical school in the US.
2 – Complete medical school
The next step to becoming a board-certified pediatrician is to complete a 4-year medical school program.
You can pursue a degree as an M.D. (Medical Doctor) or as D.O. (Osteopathic Medicine). Both these degrees give you the training required to succeed as a board-certified pediatrician.
During medical school, you should take courses in biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, microbiology, physiology and pathology.
During the last 2 years of medical school, you should get involved in clinical rotations and get hands-on experience in diagnosing and treating patients with experienced pediatricians.
Your clinical rotations should focus on specialties in the medical field, such as family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics, etc.
3 – Get a medical license
Once you complete medical school, you will need to obtain a license to practice medicine in any state within the US. To do this, you need to undertake and pass the licensing examination. Along with passing
the license exam, you will also need to fulfill any prerequisites outlined by your state medical licensing board for pediatricians.
4 – Complete the residency program and internship
Upon successfully finishing medical school and obtaining your state license, you should enroll in your residency training in pediatrics.
A pediatric residency program is necessary for aspiring pediatricians to have the clinical experience and training to diagnose and treat children.
During pediatrics residency, you have a chance to improve your communication and presentation skills. This training also helps candidates be ready to work in different healthcare settings.
5 – Choose a fellowship
A fellowship is not mandatory to become a pediatrician. However, most aspiring pediatricians opt to specialize in the field of pediatrics. Some common and popular sub-specialties in pediatrics the fellowship include:
6 – Get board certification
Although it is not mandatory, you should consider getting certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
Board certifications are a way to assure patients and potential employers that you have additional skills and knowledge to perform a pediatric role.
Board-certified pediatricians should complete continuing education to maintain their credentials.
What is the average salary for Board Certified Pediatricians?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for board-certified pediatricians in the US is around US$ 187,520 per year.
There are several factors that influence the exact salary, such as specialization, experience level, and geographic location.
If you want to help children, make a positive impact on the youth and ensure long-term high-earning potential, you should choose to become a board-certified pediatrician.
This is one of the most sought-after specialties in the medical field today, thanks to the growing population and increasing birth rate.