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A pediatrician is a physician trained to address the medical and health needs of patients aged below 21. They are also responsible for a lot of things (other than just handing out lollipops to uneasy kids and answering frantic calls). They are equipped with the knowledge and skills to diagnose, treat and prevent common (and uncommon) diseases & conditions affecting younger patients.see
On average a pediatrician goes through 13 years of training and education on average, in order to become a certified provider of health care to the society’s younger generation.
A pediatrician specializes in providing medical care to younger patients (from birth to the age of 21) usually up to the late teens. It is the duty of each pediatrician to not only diagnose and treat ailments that affect babies, children, adolescents, teenagers and young adults in general.
They also assist their young patients in maintaining good health.
Pediatricians on a primary basis are trained to:
Diagnosing & treating illnesses associated typically with children.
Addressing the medical needs such as genetic defects, malignancies, childhood infections and injury.
Assessing proper treatment approaches catering to the specific age of a patient.
Performing annual checkups, routine examinations and immunizations.
Determining whether a child is experiencing normal growth & development.
Ordering appropriate tests, prescribing medications and performing medical procedures.
Providing medical care for children acutely or chronically ill, or both.
Working towards reducing child and infant mortality.
While physical well-being plays an important part in a pediatrician’s role, some of the preventive health maintenance and counseling they provide children may include issues relating to diet, exercise and hygiene.
A pediatrician is also involved with early detection and management of issues that can affect a child’s growth, development and safety. Among them are behavioral difficulties, social stresses, developmental disorders, difficulties with basic functions, anxiety disorders, depression and the like.
In a nutshell, pediatrics is medicinal specialty concerned mainly with the physical, emotional and social health of children. There are also multiple sub-specialties a pediatrician can pursue to provide care to young patients with more specific issues.
Pediatric allergists oversee and treat children having immune system issues, asthma, allergic reactions to particular food items, medicinal items and the environment.
Pediatric anesthesiologists assist in managing infants and children undergoing surgery.
A pediatric developmentalist treats infants and children with medical issues that affect their development, such as muscular dystrophy, physical deformities and ADHD.
Pediatric cardiologists are trained to perform echocardiograms on children having heart issues.
There are dermatologists who specialize in primarily treating pediatric skin issues.
Pediatric urologists often receive extra training in performing genital and urinary tract surgical procedures on infants and children.
Entry level educational requirement for a pediatrician is a doctorate degree. Else, in order to answer the question ‘how to become a pediatrician?’, the following are the step by step educational path requirements for a pediatrician:
Earning a bachelor’s degree: The minimum requirement to gain acceptance into medical school is at least three years of study at a college or university. However, most medical students earn an undergraduate or advanced degree by the time they apply to a medical school. While some students enter a pre-med program to become a pediatrician, others satisfy prerequisites by taking math and science courses, such as physics, biology, and chemistry (inorganic and organic). Students who have a clear goal to become a pediatrician upon starting undergraduate school may choose to major in child psychology or another discipline closely associated with pediatrics.
How to get into medical school: Earning a Doctor of Medicine (M.D) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O) degree is a requirement in becoming a pediatrician. When applying to a medical school, an applicant is generally asked to send MCAT scores along with their application. The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is a standardized examination that measures an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences. A student generally takes the exam during his or her third year of undergraduate studies.
Completing a medical school program: Medical school generally takes four years to complete. Coursework during the first two years of medical school include training relating to anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, and medical ethics. The remaining two years of training are spent learning how to care for patients within a medical setting (a clinic, a hospital or the like) learning under the supervision of experienced physician. During this time, students are exposed to multiple specialties, including internal medicine, family practice, cardiology, gynecology, psychiatry and surgery.
Completing a residency in pediatrics.
Pursuing a fellowship in a specialty (which is optional)
Obtaining a license.
Getting board certified.
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