Pediatricians are highly experienced doctors who manage the health and well being of all individuals aged 21 years old or younger. They are trained to diagnose and treat infant illnesses, from minor to severe sickness. Pediatricians are an important asset to children's overall health as they grow and develop. They motivate children to live long and healthy lives while improving illnesses that develop in the early years. To become a pediatrician, each pediatric field has a distinct routine, study requirements, and proper training before taking care of young people before becoming certified.
Students with intense fervor to take care of sick children often find a medical career path in pediatrics. Many pediatric subspecialties include adolescent medicine, oncology, surgeon, pulmonology, etc. Adolescent medicine pediatricians are the most fundamental compared to all the other pediatric subspecialties. The shift from childhood to young adult can be challenging, especially mentally and physically. According to Kyleigh Rossner, ´´That’s why adolescent medicine specialists train to address the range of issues particular to growing patients with rapidly changing bodies, usually those in the 12-25 age range. These physicians frequently deal with concerns related to sexual health, eating disorders, sports medicine, chronic fatigue, and more´´(Source 1). Oncology/hematology pediatricians, on the other hand, treat and diagnose patients who have developed cancer. Their job revolves around comforting the child and their family members through treatment. Kyleigh Rossner stated,´´ According to the American Cancer Society, more than 80% of child cancer patients survive for five or more years. The work of pediatric hematologists/oncologists plays a critical role in this inspiring statistic. Responsible for diagnosing and treating childhood cancer, pediatric hematologists/oncologists save and improve the lives of their patients´´(Source 1). Each pediatric subspecialties plays a critical role in improving childrenś physical and mental health and motivating them to live a healthy life.
Another key point is that pediatricians have distant roles including diagnosing, treating chronic illness, and screening with the sole purpose to care for his/her patients. They can improve multiple health concerns that develop in young adults that may even save their life. Yolanda Smith explained,´´ Pediatricians have specific knowledge about the health and medical care of young people. As the bodies of children grow and develop into adulthood, they have certain needs, which are distinct from the needs of adults. For this reason, a pediatrician has a valuable role in the medical care team to advocate for the best health decisions for all children´´(Source 2). A pediatrician's role is crucial, and that is why school and training are involved to expand a pediatrician's knowledge before becoming certified. Schooling and training may vary based on the pediatrician´s interest in the pediatric field. The average years of studying to become a pediatrician are eleven years. A pediatrician needs four years of college, four years of medical school, and 3-7 years of residency. The author said,´´ Pediatricians need at least 12,000 to 14,000 patient care hours during training´´(Source 3). Once pediatricians complete their schooling/training, the American Board of Pediatrics is in charge of certifying pediatricians. The certification process involves an exam on pediatrics. To maintain certification, pediatricians have to retake the exam every seven years, depending on the country. Pediatricians have a vital role in society that's why school/training is an important asset to improve children's needs.
College/ university is an enmours step when one is planning to become a pediatrician. Pediatricians have to consider the classes that he/she has to take and what major they would like to graduate. The most common pediatrician majors are biochemistry, chemistry, molecular biology, nutrition sciences, pre medicine, and psychology. Clases may differ depending on the pediatric field, but all pediatricians have to take biology, chemistry, and physics. School is a huge challenge pediatricians face to inorder to accomplish their goals. When it comes to school and future college options, I have very high expectations for myself. I aim for the stars and I am trying my absolute best to get accepted into Johns Hopkins University or University of California. The best college/universities for pediatricians include Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California--San Francisco, University of Cincinnati, Baylor College of Medicine, and University of Washington. Each of these schools have amazing pediatric programs and very high graduation rates. Johns Hopkins University has a children center clinic that treats children regardless of their financial status. Different departments are depending on a teenager´s necessities. Clinical expertise incorporates sexual disease prevention, breastfeeding counseling, injury prevention, obesity prevention, and so much more. University of California on the other hand, is ranked one of the top five schools for pediatricians. They have been classified as top four for training/ education, six for research, and second for patient care. Pediatric care is also available at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and pediatricians can treat patients in the hospital or out post areas. Johns Hopkins University and University of California (San Francisco) have excellent medical programs for pediatricians, but their acceptance is less than 15% compared to other schools. Pediatricians have to be devoted to accomplish their dreams no matter how rocky the journey may be.
In addition, daily tasks may differ depending on the pediatric subspecialties, but that desire to care for children has its highs and lows. Caroline Barangan, MD, a 12-year veteran of adolescent medicine stated,´´ I get to my office around 8:30 a.m. I do paperwork and return emails and phone calls until the clinic starts at 8:45 a.m. If I’m scheduled to work with medical students, residents, and fellows, I see patients with them, supervise their decision-making, and provide in-the-moment teaching´´(Source 4). Caroline´s day revolves around children and medical students expanding their knowledge about health concerns that may arise. Unfortunately, Caroline mentions that most of the children she cares for are low-income families who don't earn enough money to make the best decisions for themselves. That's why most pediatric offices accept insurance that includes Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Aetna, Cign a, Colorado Access (CHP), Colorado Medicaid, Coventry/First Health, etc to provide opportunities for families to look out for themselves and their loved ones. Dr. Lloyd, a pediatrician at UCLA, faces the same experiences of Dr. Barangan. Dr. Lloyd explains,´´ But being a pediatrician isn't always fun. Pediatricians face unique challenges, the most difficult of which are seeing children suffer and losing patients. 'Seeing families go through so much pain is devastating and I still struggle to make sense of things. You can't explain why illness happens to children. It's unfair, but I have to process that and still have a good attitude at work´´ (Source 5). Overall Dr. Lloyd and Dr. Barangan love their job and develop a strong bond with their patients, which makes them forget about all the challenges. In my opinion, pediatricians are so much more than doctors, but companions who seek the wellbeing of others. Pediatricians often put their morals and desires aside to provide patients with the best care possible. My dream job is to become an Adolescent Medicine pediatrician, but I know that with my dream comes along challenges and long years of studying. I enjoy treating and caring for people, especially children. Whenever someone in my family is very sick, I am always by their side and looking for ways to improve their health. I have noticed that I am drawn to articles about medicine or discoveries made by doctors, that's why becoming a pediatrician will be the best career path for me. A pediatrician´s day sounds exciting and exhausting at the same time. They have little to no breaks and their lunch varies depending on how many patients they have to attend.
Pediatricians have a unique role in society, the work ethic that's deep inside their hearts drives them to do what they love daily. The long years of studying and the certification process has allowed pediatricians to expand their thinking, providing patients with proper care. Becoming a pediatrician has its highs and lows but at the end of the day, it's the smiles on children's faces that matter.