Education and Qualification
Most medical schools require applicants to have a minimum of two to three years of university education. After graduating from medical school, a doctor who wishes to become a pediatrician must complete at least three years of special training in health care for children, also known as residency program (work experience). The doctor can then become a certified pediatrician by passing an examination given by a pediatrics specialty board.
Many pediatricians take two to three years of additional training in a particular area of pediatrics. Some specialties are pediatric surgery, pediatric infectious diseases, pediatric hematology-oncology, and neonatal-prenatal medicine. Aside from the training, the pediatrician must also complete medical licensing exams such as certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).
Other qualifications of a pediatrician are compassion, patience, and love for children. Pediatricians must also have good communication skills. They have to be able to listen to parents and give them advice about their child. If a pediatrician is not able to communicate with people in this profession, he or she will never make it far.
Duties and Responsibilities
A pediatrician’s first responsibility is to diagnose illnesses. He or she does this by examining the patient, obtaining the patient’s medical histories, and ordering special tests such as X-rays. Next, he or she recommends treatment programs that may involve medication, rehabilitation, surgery, or advice about exercise and nutrition.
During the treatment process, the pediatrician communicates with family members and health care professionals such as nurses. When appropriate, the pediatrician may refer patients to specialists, who are experts in medical fields. Those people include cardiologists, psychiatrists, surgeons, and many more.
Salary and Rewards
Pediatricians have among the highest earnings of any occupations. Earnings vary according to the number of year in practice, hours worked, skill, personality, and professional reputation. Those pediatricians who are just beginning their careers make around $100 000 to $120 000 per year. Established pediatricians’ average income is between $120 000 to $135 000 per year.
Being a pediatrician can be rewarding as a result. When pediatricians care for children, the choice is made based on the love for children and the belief that it is a significant accomplishment to make a difference in a child’s life. As a bonus, the pediatricians get to hold their patients in their arms, to see them grow and change, and years later, to see the adults they have become.
Being a pediatrician can be stressful. They have to work long hours and sometimes even miss important family occasions because of emergency calls. Irregular work schedules can sometimes interfere with the pediatrician’s daily plan, and they have to accommodate with it. They have to be able to accept unexpected events and unpredictable situations, but all of these hard works are worthwhile because of their high salary. Pediatricians can provide their family with money, but they cannot really provide their family with attention. To them, career has to be their priority since being a pediatrician is like a 24 hours a day job.
Most pediatricians work in small private offices or clinics. They are often assisted by a small staff of nurses and other administrative personnel. Some pediatricians with higher reputation also teach and research. More dedicated pediatricians may be involved in advocating children’s issues in their communities.
Pediatricians work very long hours, between 9 to 12 hours a day and 45 to 65 hours a week. They may have irregular work schedules, working \ evenings and Saturdays to accommodate patients. Thus, it can be difficult for them to balance career and family life or personal time.
Women in Pediatrics
In our society today, some ignorant people still consider women going into specialized pediatrics as unacceptable. They think women should study regular pediatrics. Although the society is more open-minded nowadays, sexism has not been eliminated. Thus, some women in advanced fields such as pediatric surgery are disrespected.