A pediatrician is a person who specializes on caring for kids. Infants, toddlers and adolescents who are below 21 years of age are included in the age group that a doctor for kids takes care of. He makes it a point to monitor the medical, physical and emotional health of his charges. This is a perfect career for people who love children. However, the path to this career takes eleven years of study. If you want to be a doctor for kids, you have to commit yourself to the mandatory phases that you have to pass through.
Here are some of the steps that you have to take if you want to become a doctor for kids:
- Have an early start. In order to have a career in this field, you must make a commitment as early as possible. On your last few years as a high school student, try to make plans on how you can easily attain your license. Develop a workable study plan and good study habits that can go with it. Invest your time and money in medical books that can aid your studies when you finally try to get your degree. Try to browse many websites on the Internet about pediatricians. Try to get an idea on the list of qualifications that you have to meet so you can start as early as high school.
- Get the prerequisite degree. Finish a four-year college degree related to medicine. Make sure that you complete the necessary coursework in the following subjects: chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics and English. To decide on a premedical course you will major in; visit a website of a medical school. Try to study the coursework outlined in the website. Make sure to take the prerequisite elective classes in order to complete your premedical load.
- Study in a medical school. Get enrolled in a medical school for a four-year course. Complete all the general courses on medicines that you have to attend. Make sure to focus on pediatrics. Make it a point to enroll in all the elective classes that focuses on pediatrics.
- Apply for a license. In order to get your license as a doctor for kids, you have to pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam or USMLE. Make it a point to study well for the exam. You have to get a high grade in order to become a qualified pediatrician. The USMLE comes in a series of three exams that you have to take during your stay in a medical school. You have to take the first part after your second year in the med school. The next two parts will be available during your last year as a med student.
- Apply for an internship. Apply in an internship program that will earn you a year on internship and two years of residency as a pediatrician. Make sure to get as much hands on training as you can. Try to learn from the resident pediatrician you will work for during your internship. Make it a point to pay attention to the medical needs of the patients. Try to observe how a practiced pediatrician conducts treatment on the kids.
The national board exam will be your final step to become a doctor for kids. The training for this career is very challenging. However, if you take these steps, you can make sure that you can easily advance in your chosen field.