Pediatrician Job Description
Pediatricians are similar to family physicians, except they specialize in caring for infants, children, and young adults. Some pediatricians even choose to focus on a single age group. For instance, some specialize in newborn care.
Many conditions, diseases, and injuries are specific to young people, so specializing in pediatric care allows these physicians to sometimes diagnose and treat medical problems in better ways than a general physician.
Because children are often more apprehensive of doctors than older people, being a pediatrician often requires a great deal of patience and empathy.
Responsibilities for pediatrician jobs include:
- Assessing children’s growth and development, including cognitive skills.
- Prescribing medications and treatments.
- Administering vaccinations and other injections.
- Advising parents about health and diet issues impacting their children.
Work Environment and Schedule
Most pediatricians work in offices that only operate during normal business hours. Some pediatricians are able to maintain a regular schedule, but many are required to be on call at all times so they can assist parents with emergency situations if they arise.
Some pediatricians run their own practice, so there are a lot of tasks they have to accomplish to keep their business running even when the office is closed to patients.
How to Become a Pediatrician
To become a pediatrician, you will have to complete four years of medical school after completing your bachelor’s degree. Once medical school is completed, a three year residency is required.
At the completion of your residency, you must pass a board exam in pediatrics. Only board certified pediatricians are eligible to practice in the United States.
There are currently 691,000 pediatricians in the United States, with 30,510 new pediatrician job openings created each year.
Pediatrician jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Pediatrician salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most pediatricians make between $122,300 – $166,400+ per year, or $58.82 – $80+ per hour.