A doctor who specializes in treating minors under the age of 18 is known as a pediatrician. They complete many of the same tasks as a family practice or internal medicine physician. The pediatrician job description involves seeing children in the office for a variety of conditions from general health and wellness checkups to diagnosing illnesses, fixing injuries and prescribing medication.
This pediatrician job description covers the essential functions and responsibilities, skills needed, the education and any required experience, a normal working schedule, and the job outlook. After reading this pediatrician job description, you should know a little bit more about what it means to be treating patients under the age of 18.
What Does a Pediatrician Do?
A pediatrician is often the most trusted resource that a parent has. This is particularly true for newborns. There are many changes that happen throughout childhood and the pediatrician is attuned to know what normal and abnormal development look like. Patients come to see pediatricians when they need vaccinations and annual physicals. In addition, they will see children who are sick or injured, order diagnostic tests, and prescribe treatment. They work as part of a healthcare team that includes nurses and medical assistants.
Pediatricians must have their medical degree. They can specialize in various areas if preferred. It is not necessary to have previous work experience. but they will accumulate experience throughout their medical school and residency education.
Pediatrician Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities
All doctors will complete the same basic function: caring for patients. The following pediatrician job description responsibilities are starter statements.
- Establish a level of rapport with patients and assess their condition.
- Review the medical history with a patient.
- Write prescriptions as necessary.
- Prepare a vaccination schedule, keeping in mind parental concerns.
- Collaborate with other medical professionals to understand the diagnosis, particularly in specialties.
- Take time to answer any questions that a patient or their parent has.
- Conduct research and participate in professional organizations.
Pediatrician Essential Skills
Interpersonal skills. Parents who make an appointment at the pediatrician for a possible medical problem or injury will likely already feel stressed and worried. In addition, an older child may also be concerned. Pediatricians need to be compassionate and show sincere care for their patients.
Problem-solving skills. Pediatricians will often need to make diagnoses using a variety of tests and an overall assessment of well-being. They need to use their education and analytical skills to solve medical problems.
Observation skills. Pediatricians need to be especially astute at observing young children who might not be able to express their emotions or concerns.
Communication skills. At no point will a pediatrician work by themselves. Even for routine check-ups or vaccinations, a nurse or medical assistant will help with patient care. Therefore, pediatricians must be excellent communicators.
How to Become a Pediatrician
Pediatricians need their medical degree and additional years of residency. There is no outside experience required, however, these professionals will gain significant experience through their schooling.
Education & Training Requirements
Students who want to become a pediatrician need to focus on science courses in their undergraduate degree. They do not need to major in a science-related field such as biology or chemistry. However, doing so can make them prepared for the MCATs and for medical school. If the student knows they want to treat children, they could pursue additional coursework in family development or psychology.
After the bachelor’s degree is complete students need to take the MCAT. This is a standardized assessment. To get into medical school, you need both evidence of an undergraduate degree and the MCAT. There are four years of medical school. The first two years is primarily coursework and the last two is clinical in nature. Even students who are confident they want to be pediatricians will rotate through a variety of specialties.
After the initial medical school, the student is now officially a doctor. However, they now need to go to three years of advanced residency. This is where they train under a pediatrician. If they want to specialize, they will need to continue more schooling. Finally, the pediatrician also needs to become licensed and pass board examinations.
Pediatricians gain all of the needed work experience in their residency program. They get to apply the classroom knowledge they learned through the clinical setting. Pediatricians who work in hospitals may progress to a chief resident or department head. In physician offices, that level of hierarchy does not necessarily exist.
Prior to entering medical school, a student should job shadow different pediatric specialties to see if they think they would like to pursue advanced education.
Most pediatricians work full-time. They have flexibility in where they work. For example, they could be self-employed, work in a shared practice, work in an outpatient center, or work in a hospital. Their day involves paperwork, meetings, and seeing patients. Each patient typically gets a 30-minute time slot. The pediatrician may see 6 or 7 patients in a day.
Overall, physician job growth is projected to be 14 percent through the year 2024. The pediatrician job growth is slightly lower than this at 10 percent. This is due partially to the fact that while our overall population ages, the birth rate of children is slower. In addition, some parents may take their child to a general family practice doctor.
General pediatricians earn a median salary of $144,502 annually. While the total yearly pay including bonus and profit sharing can go from $96,204 up to $199,156. However, those who specialize in anesthesiology, surgery, obstetrics, psychiatry, and internal medicine all earn more than this.
The two important points to take away from this pediatrician job description are that it takes several years of dedication to become a pediatrician and after that, you get a nice salary. If you are interested in a healthcare field and enjoy taking care of children, pediatrics could be a good specialty, you can also read more about the nurse practitioner job.