Numerous majors are available if you want to become a pediatrician. Pediatricians provide medical care and services for infants and children up to adulthood. Pediatricians can choose to specialize in areas such as allergies or specific chronic diseases or provide general care for day-to-day illnesses and injuries. Regardless of their major, future pediatricians must complete medical school, an internship, a residency program and pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam before practicing medicine. In 2009, general pediatricians were averaging a salary of $152,240 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Biochemists study the chemistry and processes that allow life. Biochemistry majors should consider specializing in medical biochemistry if they are considering becoming pediatricians. Courses include biochemistry, physical chemistry and microbiology. If you major in biochemistry, you should take electives in anatomy and psychology to better prepare yourself for the medical school entrance exam. The skills that you will develop as a biochemistry major include communication, critical thinking and problem solving, according to the University Career Center at North Carolina State University.
Biomedical engineer majors combine biology and medical studies with engineering to learn to solve problems in the medical field. This degree not only prepares a student for medical school but also dental and pharmacy school and a variety of engineering fields. If you major in this field and wish to become a pediatrician, you should select a curriculum emphasis in biomedical instrumentation in your junior or senior year, according to North Carolina State University.
Majoring in pre-med with an emphasis in child psychology can be your best route to becoming a pediatrician, according to Steven Halm at YourPediatrician.com. Pre-med students take the basic courses recommended by medical schools to prepare them for the MCAT. Rounding out your degree with volunteer work in hospitals and shelters can be an asset when applying to a medical school where acceptance can be highly competitive.
Most medical schools will accept majors in any field, according to Halm. Medical schools typically look at your grade point average, extracurricular activities and, most importantly, your MCAT score. The MCAT will test your knowledge in natural sciences such as chemistry, biology, anatomy and mathematics and doing well on the exam is imperative to acceptance into medical school. Halm estimates the total cost of obtaining your doctorate of medicine to be as much as $260,000.