The first step to becoming a pediatrician is getting through medical school. This can take anywhere from five to eight years, depending on the program, the school, and your current level of education. As a result, most students will spend their fifth year as an intern or second year as a resident in Family medicine. Below are approaches someone can take to become a certified pediatrician.
Obtain A Degree
A bachelor’s degree in medicine or surgery, a pediatric board review course, a master’s degree in medicine or clinical pediatrics, or a doctorate in medicine or pediatric pharmacology can best prepare you to become a pediatrician.
However, a bachelor’s degree in anything related to the sciences is sufficient. The most important requirement is to have a degree in something related to science. During medical school, you will learn pediatrics basics and rotate through different specialties.
Obtaining an additional degree in pediatric medicine will greatly increase your chances of getting a job as a pediatrician after you graduate from medical school and probably become more competitive for jobs at research facilities and schools.
Take the MCAT
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) international medical credentialing organization has the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) test.
This test is used in preference to other exams such as the AAMC’s or AOA’s. The only required component of this test is Psychology, and thus it is highly recommended that you take this exam.
Apply To Medical School
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and the American Osteopathic Association have a section on their websites where you can apply to become a pediatrician. Create your practice plan and decide what specialty is right for you.
Pediatricians in the United States are trained to provide primary care and preventive services to infants, children, adolescents, and young adults from birth through age 19. Pediatricians may work with neonates, adolescents, or children—any age group requiring medical services.
Graduate From Medical School
You will typically complete medical school in four years and your residency in three years. This can range from five to eight years, depending on the program, the school you attend, and the amount of time needed for completion.
Most pediatricians work in primary care and preventive services beyond the level of a family practitioner or general practitioner. There are a small number of pediatric subspecialties, such as neonatology or anesthesiology.
Pediatricians provide preventive services to children and adolescents by educating them on healthy lifestyle practices or health services and health education for those who have missed out on such care.
Begin The Licensure Process
You must pass a series of exams to complete your licensure process. These tests are different for each state, but two are common. The first is the USMLE or “Exam,” an adaptive computer test consisting of three sections- molecular sciences, integrated basic science, and clinical skills.
The other component is the ECFMG or “Flexner” exam, which evaluates the eligibility of graduates who want to practice medicine in the United States.
Apply For And Complete A Residency In Pediatrics
Applicants for the pediatrics residency will undergo an interview process before being accepted. Many applicants are turned away because they do not match their preferred specialty or have not completed the minimum requirements to apply for the Pediatric Residency Program.
Most residency programs will accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree in something related to science and a high MCAT score.
Become Board Certified
This process will take time. The first step is to become board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). This process takes around five years. During this time, you will need to maintain your board certification by completing periodic maintenance and yearly recertification requirements. In addition, you will be expected to take continuing medical education classes and pass an exam to maintain certification.
Conclusively, becoming a pediatrician requires a lot of hard work and dedication. This specialty is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to spend time with patients with special pediatric needs such as autism, down syndrome, or children from other cultural backgrounds. Also, becoming a pediatrician means that you will be providing primary medical care to children of all ages and their families. You will have the opportunity to create lifelong relationships with your patients and their parents.