What does a pediatrician do?

Pediatricians are physicians who specialize in the care and treatment of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults, from birth to age 21. They are expert in all areas of a child’s physical and emotional growth and development.

What might a pediatrician do in a workday?

  • teach parents about the health and wellness needs of their children, including regular examinations, immunizations, nutrition, and physical, mental, and emotional development.
  • track each child’s growth and development and take action if problems arise.
  • treat common childhood illnesses and injuries, such as ear infections and minor lacerations.
  • examine and diagnose patients, sometimes using medical equipment, instruments, and tests.
  • prescribe and administer drugs and treatments.
  • provide ongoing treatment and monitoring for those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease, or cardiac conditions.
  • immunize children to protect them from preventable, communicable diseases, such as chicken pox, polio, measles, and hepatitis.
  • care for children with complex medical problems, alone or in consultation with pediatric medical subspecialists or surgical specialists.

Developing a Career as a Pediatrician:

Most pediatricians work in private offices, hospitals, and clinics. They may work alone or with other physicians and are usually aided by nurses, technicians, and clerks. They also are involved in teaching and research in academic centers, as well as in the guidance of community health care in national, state, and local governments and agencies and in advocacy for children and families.

How much does a pediatrician earn?

  • $156,000 - $208,050

How do I become a pediatrician?

Students interested in becoming a pediatrician should take the most challenging high school courses available in science, math, and English, including advanced placement courses.

To enter medical school, students must have received a bachelor’s degree with a high grade point average in a premedical program or other related major. They must pass a national examination (MCAT) and undergo extensive interviews.

Upon completion of medical school, physicians interested in pediatrics enter postgraduate education (internship and residency) during which they receive at least three years of specialized education and practice in the field of pediatrics. Those who wish to further specialize may undertake up to three more years of education in fields such as pediatric emergency medicine.

Where else can I learn about becoming a pediatrician?

Medical Society of Virginia
2924 Emerywood Parkway, Suite 300 / Richmond, VA 23294-3746
tel:  (800) 746-6768 / web:  www.msv.org

Virginia Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics
2201 W. Broad Street, Suite 205 / Richmond, VA 23220
tel:  (804) 622-8135 / web:  www.virginiapediatrics.org

American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Boulevard / Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
tel:  (847) 434-4000 / web:  www.aap.org

State License Requirements for Pediatrician:

A license is required to practice as a Physician in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information on licensure, applications, and forms, visit www.dhp.virginia.gov/medicine.

Virginia Board of Medicine
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300 / Henrico, VA 23233
Phone: (804) 367-4600 / Email: medbd@dhp.virginia.gov

Educational Institutions in Virginia for Pediatrician: