If you’re interested in medicine, you might be considering the field of pediatrics. But you might be asking yourself how long does it take, and how can you become one? Read on to find out how long it will take you to pursue your dream of becoming a pediatrician. Learn how to get into medical school with an online class.
Becoming a pediatrician could take from ten years or longer. First, you must complete four years at a university. Once you complete that, you have to move on to four years of medical school. After medical school comes one year as a pediatrics intern, and to finish everything up, you could spend a year or longer in pediatrics residency.
Luckily, as an intern and a resident, you won’t be considered a pediatrician, but you will be getting paid for your work. Learn about thirty different types of doctors in this article.
How to Become a Pediatrician
As said before, becoming a pediatrician takes a lot of schooling, but you don’t just attend any school. Learn step-by-step just what you need to do to become a pediatrician:
Get your high school diploma.
Although not mentioned above when describing how long it will take you to become a pediatrician, getting your high school diploma is your first step in becoming a pediatrician. Start by taking beginning biology, chemistry, and physics classes. The coursework involved will prepare you for your lessons in medical school. Take a course in beginning chemistry.
Your high school science courses will be the first indicator regarding whether or not a career in medicine is right for you. If you’re having trouble grasping scientific concepts, get a tutor to help you. If you’re still having trouble even with the help of a tutor, it might be a sign that medicine is not for you.
While in high school, keep your grades up so that you have more options when it comes to applying for a university. These grades will also open up a lot of financial windows if you need help paying for your education. Do what you can to complete assignments either on time or early, study, and keep up with any reading involved. Even other courses beyond science can make or break your chances in getting into the right university. Study the basics of medical terminology with an online class.
Get a degree from a four-year university.
When preparing for a future in medicine, you’re not going to want to apply to just one four-year university. Apply to several, and do what you can to get into a prestigious one. It could be another foot in the door when getting into medical school. The common degree for pre-med students is a Bachelor of Sciences in something like biology or chemistry, but you can also graduate with social sciences or humanities.
Whether you graduate with a science degree or not, you’re definitely going to want to consider taking classes in chemistry, physics, biology, and calculus as these can help your chances when getting into medical school. Be sure to check with the medical school you’re hoping to get into for the exact requirements. Have back-up choices as well.
If you really want your application to shine when applying for medical school, try volunteering or working in a public health environment. Check with your local hospitals or nursery homes, or try finding a job at your local pharmacy. This kind of starting experience can put you higher on the list of choices for medical schools. Learn the 5 factors to set your college application apart with an online class.
Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
The MCAT is a required test in order to be admitted into medical school. Many of the questions will involve physical science, biological sciences, and verbal reasoning. Prepare by buying yourself some study books, taking practice tests, hiring a private tutor, and even taking an MCAT preparatory course.
Get through medical school.
Your first two years of medical school are going to be broad subjects like chemistry, human anatomy, and more. The next two years of medical school is where you will begin to narrow your focus on a chosen field – like pediatrics. Try to keep your grades high to apply for scholarships if you need financial help with school. Otherwise, loans could end up costing you a pretty penny once you’re done.
Go through an internship and/or complete residency at a hospital.
You don’t always need to go through a pediatrics internship, but it could get your foot in the door if you can’t find a residency. If you manage to get a residency, consider it paid training toward starting your own practice. You’re still learning, but at least you’re getting paid to do it now.
Keep in mind that your internship or residency might include very long hours and could pay as little as minimum wage. Expect to have no social life, and devote all of your time to completing your residency. Warn close friends and family so that they know why they haven’t heard from you in months.
Get and keep board certification.
Once you complete your pediatric training, it’s important to get board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. After completing your training, you only have a seven-year window to get your certification. In order to keep practicing, you will have to renew your certification when it expires. Enjoy your dream of finally becoming a pediatrician.