Do you have an interest in child and youth health?

Are you an aspiring physician who adores and loves working with children?

If so, you might be destined for a career as a pediatrician!

A pediatrician giving an injection to a baby, who sits in their mother's lap. Photo by CDC on Unsplash

What does a pediatrician do?

  • Provide health treatment to a child/children who are ill, either temporarily or permanently.

A doctor is completing a health check on a patient

  • Assist families in maintaining the physical and mental health of their child/children.

A doctor is speaking with a child and their family.

What skills does a pediatrician need?

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  • An eye for detail: Children often lack the vocabulary or are too distressed to communicate their feelings. Keeping an eye on their non-verbal cues will be important in helping to assess a problem.

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  • Empathy: Creating a strong bond with the child and parent will help build trust, ease anxiety, and improve health outcomes.

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  • Commitment: As medicine constantly evolves, it's important to commit to life-long learning by keeping up to date on anything relevant to children’s health.

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  • Patience: You'll be put to the test every now and again, as children are often scared when a procedure is about to be performed. Find ways to calmy express and show how you're going to help them feel better.


Dr. Ray has a 3 year old patient who's crying uncontrollably. How should he deal with the scenario?

How much time will you need to become a pediatrician?

It may take about 14 years to become a pediatrician. Here's a breakdown of the time commitment:

  • The bachelor's degree takes 4 years to complete.

  • The medical school program lasts 4 years.

  • The residency program takes about 3 years. The duration might vary depending on the specialization (eg. immunology and neonatology).

  • The 3-step licensure process begins in medical school and gets completed during the residency program.

  • The fellowship program lasts 2 to 3 years. However, it's not mandatory.

A chart showing how long it takes to become a pediatrician

Image by Satarupa Das Majumder

How much can you earn as a pediatrician?

Flaticon Icon The median salary for pediatricians in the United States is $158,355/year .

Flaticon Icon The median salary for pediatricians in Canada is C$124,500/year .

You'll love being a pediatrician if...

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  • You have skills like patience and an eye for detail.

  • You enjoy studying.

  • You're an outspoken supporter of children's health.

  • You're willing to invest 11–14 years of your time in school.

You might not like being a pediatrician if...

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  • You become distressed when seeing children in pain.

  • You find it challenging to interact with children, particularly infants.

  • You quickly become emotional while dealing with visibly emotional parents.

  • You don't like working irregular hours.

Take Action

A pediatrician with a stethoscope around their neck. Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

Are you ready to start your career as a pediatrician?


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