Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     



If the thought of helping children and teenagers interests you, then maybe pediatrics is a field to consider. Pediatricians are specialists who provide medical care and treatment for children from birth through adolescence. They specialize in both preventive health maintenance for healthy children and medical care for children who are acutely or chronically ill. Besides physical and medical ailments, pediatricians also manage the mental and emotional well-being of their patients in every stage of development.

Since a child's formative years are very important in terms of growing healthy, strong bones and teaching them how to take care of themselves, it is important that a pediatrician practices educative and preventative care and guidance to ensure healthy growth and development in children and youth. They encourage proper nutrition, administer immunizations and suggest exercise and other outdoor activities.

Years ago, pediatricians spent their time treating children with diseases such as mumps, measles, rubella and diphtheria. However, because of the decline of these diseases and the increase in preventative vaccinations, pediatricians now help children with all problems, down to psychological issues. Today, they deal with problems such as asthma, allergies, acne, drug abuse and attention-deficit disorder (ADD).

As psychological and social conditions have made once-simple issues harder for young adults, a pediatricians role in this realm has also become more important. Pediatricians who have known their patients since birth may be the only other adult influence besides their parents that children may trust or go to with serious problems. When adolescents go through puberty, they often need the guidance and support of a pediatrician to explain the various changes taking place in their lives. Young people faced with family violence, homelessness and substance abuse often turn to pediatricians, as well.

Nevertheless, a pediatrician's first job is to diagnose illness and other medical conditions in their young patients. They perform physical exams, compile a log of the patient's medical history and also, like all other physicians, order tests and administer needles. They recommend treatment methods, including medications, antibiotics, creams, drops, vitamins, sprays and diet changes.

Sometimes the pediatrician refers their patient to a specialist, social worker or psychiatrist, in case of psychological problems. With the rise of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) cases amongst youngsters, pediatricians are noticing similar symptoms, such as the inability to concentrate on anything for more than a short period of time, or extreme hyperactivity, in their patients. They can prescribe medications which are supposed to help children concentrate. However, many doctors are becoming more skeptical and infrequent in prescribing these types of medications, seeking alternative methods of treatment.
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Advanced Care Paramedic
arrow Anesthesiologists
arrow Animal Care Worker
arrow [ view all related careers ]

Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
UEI College
At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.
Programs Offered:
  • Medical Billing & Insurance Coding (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
Median Salary:
Highest 10% of Earners:

  Interests and Skills  
Pediatricians are compassionate people, with an abundance of patience, who love working with children. They need excellent communication skills, as they must be able to explain serious medical terminology to children in terms that they can understand. They also have to deal with worried parents; therefore they need to have a reassuring and sensitive nature.

Many have a good sense of humor and use that tactic as a way of easing scared children. They must have a good deal of manual dexterity and sharp eye, especially those who work as surgeons. Finally, most are cool-headed and decisive and can make logical and quick decisions.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Plan and carry out a medical care program for children from birth through adolescence to aid in mental and physical growth and development
  • Discuss a patients medical and developmental problems with the patient and often the parents or caregivers
  • Study a patients medical history
  • Examine a patient to determine the presence of disease, establish preventative health practices and carry out tests
  • Use the test results and examinations to decide on appropriate treatment
  • Prescribe and give medicine and other treatments
  • Carry out certain procedures for diagnosis or care such as attaching life-supporting equipment
  • Monitor results of treatment
  • Advise a patient or caregivers on health care programs
  • Investigate causes of diseases
  • Pediatricians work long hours, especially when they start their careers, because they are trying to establish a client base. They generally work about 50 to 60 hours per week , which will often include weekends to accommodate schedules. Some pediatricians get swamped with administrative work and others are involved in teaching and research.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Most pediatricians work in private practices or in a group practice with other physicians. Some work at hospitals and specialize in surgery, while others are found teaching at universities.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Since it takes so many years to become a pediatrician and most go into the profession for the love of children; most pediatricians stay with the job. However, those who wish to change careers or advance may move into hospital administration positions, move into the government and work as a health policy advisor or consultant, or work for a pharmaceutical company. Others may decide to teach or focus their work strictly on research.

  Educational Paths  
Becoming a pediatrician requires a long educational road, so be prepared for a lifelong learning experience. Most start with a Bachelor of Science degree, however some Bachelor of Arts graduates may be accepted into medical school programs. While in high school, take math and science classes. Also, not all medical schools require a bachelor's degree and with good marks, some students can get accepted after two years of undergraduate studies. Check with the school for their requirements before applying.

Pediatricians complete four years of medical school and then a year of internship before entering residency graduate education, which usually takes about four years. Following the residency, pediatricians must take an additional two to four years in a specialization, such as pediatric surgery.
Finally, before entering medical school, it is a good idea to volunteer in a hospital, nursing home or community center. This is a way to gain valuable experience dealing with people who need help and to find out what it is like to work as a doctor. Also, experience working with children, for example as a summer camp counselor, or volunteering at a daycare may help you decide if you like working with children.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
UEI College
At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.
Programs Offered:
  • Medical Billing & Insurance Coding (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)

Institute of Technology
You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.
Programs Offered:
  • Medical Billing and Office Administration
  • Professional Medical Assistant

Unitek College

Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. 

Programs Offered:
  • Medical Assisting

California College San Diego

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Programs Offered:
  • Medical Specialties (AOS)

Brightwood College

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

Programs Offered:
  • Medical Billing & Coding Specialist
  • Medical Assistant

Keiser University

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

Programs Offered:
  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Science

San Joaquin Valley College

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

Programs Offered:
  • Degree - Medical Office
  • Certificate - Medical Assistant
  • Degree - Medical Assistant

American Career College

American Career College (ACC) offers hands-on training that will prepare students for careers in the healthcare industry at three campuses in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Orange County, California.

Programs Offered:
  • Medical Billing and Coding

US Colleges

U.S. Colleges has been helping students enhance their career skills since 1996.


Programs Offered:
  • Clinical Medical Assistant
  • Administrative & Clinical Medical Assistant
  • Medical Office Administrator
  • And more...

Southern California Health Institute
Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.
Programs Offered:
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Program
  • Medical Assistant Program

Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Oregon
University of OttawaYork University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2017 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.