What Do Pediatricians Study?


A pediatrician is a doctor that cares for children ranging from newborns to early adulthood, specializing in diseases and ailments that afflict young and growing bodies. The impact that these medical specialists have on the health of children lasts well into the patients' adulthood.

What Do Pediatricians Study?

  • Pediatricians study various subjects at various times. While still in high school, the future pediatrician will ideally focus their efforts on excelling in science courses such as biology, chemistry and physics, and in math courses such as geometry, algebra and calculus. In college the focus should be on more biology, genetics, microbiology and molecular biology. More physics, organic chemistry and calculus will also be required during undergraduate studies.

What Do Pediatricians Study in Medical School?

  • In medical school, the future pediatrician will spend the first two years studying basic medical sciences such as human anatomy, physiology, chemistry, pharmacology and neuroanatomy. During years three and four, a decision on a specific specialty of medicine--such as Family Practice, Internal Medicine or Pediatrics--will be made. Sub-specialties, like surgery, orthopedics, cardiology or neurosurgery will also be chosen.

Requirements to Become a Pediatrician

  • Aspirants to the role of pediatrician should start preparing in high school by excelling in advanced placement classes. Excellent academic performance, social activities like volunteer work and involvement with charities may enhance the chances of acceptance into an accredited college. High SAT scores may result in scholarship offers.

    Earn a bachelor's degree in pre-med or biology. Many medical schools require a minimum 3.0 GPA and some a 3.5 GPA. Take the Medical College Admissions Test; the MCAT is critical for getting into medical school. Employ MCAT practice tests to prepare.

    In medical school, aspiring pediatricians study all aspects of medicine. Two years of clinical rotations start the second year, provided the candidate passes Part 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

    During year four, a specialty is chosen, a residency program sought and Part 2 of the USMLE is given. After three years of residency--the third and final part of the USMLE is given in year one--the general pediatrics certification exam must be passed. Given by the American Board of Pediatrics ), it certifies pediatricians.

What are Salaries For Pediatricians?

  • In 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, general pediatricians earned average income of $153,370. Those in private practice earn higher incomes but also have more overhead and must provide for their own retirement.

What is the Future For Pediatricians?

  • Employment for doctors, including pediatricians, is expected to grow much faster than the average for all careers through 2018. Rural and low-income areas could see increasing demand for health professionals.

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  • Photo Credit doctor and patient 4 image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com
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