How to Become a Pediatrician

Though the road to becoming a pediatrician is long, the work is interesting and rewarding. Read the steps listed below and learn about how you can become a pediatrician.

  1. Excel in high school and university. It's best to decide to become a pediatrician while you're still in high school. Because competition to get into medical school is aggressive, it's necessary to have excellent grades throughout high school and college. Your college studies should be focused in the sciences and math, including biology, chemistry, statistics and algebra [source: AAP].
  2. Go to medical school. Take the Medical School Admission Test (MCAT), and apply to medical school. Hopefully you'll be accepted to the medical school of your choice. Otherwise, you may have to go to a different medical school.
  3. Pass the board exams. The requirements for becoming a certified pediatrician may vary depending on where you live and the medical school you attended. Most American universities require that you pass the national medical board exam before being able to specialize in pediatrics [source: AAP].
  4. Complete an internship. A pediatrics internship will prepare you in the specialized field of children's medicine. You will learn how to diagnose early diseases, respond to emergencies and speak to children and parents so that they will understand [source: College Board].
  5. Complete a 36-month residency. Working as a resident doctor will prepare you for a career as a pediatrician. Receiving hands-on practice and working closely with experienced doctors in the field will train you thoroughly [source: AAP].
  6. Pass the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) certifying exams. Having finished your medical education, you must receive certification from the ABP by providing evidence of your training and residency, and passing written board examinations. If you choose to specialize in a specific area within pediatrics, such as infectious diseases or cardiology, you must apply for subspecialty board certification. You will be required to show evidence of your certification every seven years [source: AAP].