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Being a Pediatrician

After all of the questions about how to become a pediatrician, students often begin asking questions about what it is like being a pediatrician. Typical questions include how much do you work, what do you do, how much money can you make, etc. And of course, why did you want to become a pediatrician. 1) What influenced you to become a pediatrician? I always wanted to be a doctor, from when I was a little kid. It wasn't until medical school that I decided on a career in Pediatrics. During your third year of medical school, you start working with patients more as you do different rotations, such as ob/gyn (delivering babies, etc.), surgery, psychiatry, internal medicine, family practice, and pediatrics. Although I liked all of my rotations, I found that I enjoyed Pediatrics and taking care of children the most. 2) What do Pediatricians do? I think that the American Academy of Pediatrics sums it up best in stating that 'in caring for children's physical health, pediatricians diagnose and treat infections, injuries, genetic defects, malignancies, and many types of organic disease and dysfunction. They work to reduce infant and child mortality, control infectious disease, foster healthy lifestyles, and ease the day-to-day difficulties of children and adolescents with chronic conditions.' So basically we take care of kids, from birth to 21 years of age, when they are sick and we offer preventative care and guidance to keep them healthy. 3) What is a typical day like for a Pediatrician? It depends, but for the average primary care pediatrician with a regular office, the day usually begins by going to the hospital to 'make rounds' and seeing new babies and any sick kids that have been hospitalized. Next, office hours usually begin at 8:30 or 9:00 am and continue until 4:00 or 5:00 pm, with 1 to 1 1/2 hours for lunch. During that time, pediatricians see kids in two basic types of appointments. There are appointments for kids who are sick, like with an ear infection or poison ivy, and well child appointments, when kids get their checkups and shots. And the average pediatrician sees about 127 patients a week, including those in the office and hospital. 4) How many hours a week does a pediatrician work? The AAP reports that the average pediatrician works 'an average of 50 hours per week'. This includes time spent in the office, visiting patients in the hospital, doing paperwork and being on call after-hours. Most pediatricians also take either a 1/2 day or full day off during the week. 5) What does it mean to be on call? Most pediatricians make themselves available to their patients after regular office hours, including nights and weekends. When on call, a doctor answers phone calls and sometimes has to visit the hospital to see a sick patient. The amount of time spent on call depends on how many doctors are available to 'share' call. A doctor by himself would usually be on call everyday. Doctors in a group, like in an office with 3 other doctors would be on call much less often and perhaps just once a month. 6) How much money do pediatricians make? The American Medical Association reports an average income for pediatricians at $135,400 a year, but that was from 1993. Medical Economics magazine reports a salary range for pediatricians from less than $60,000 up to $400,000 a year, with doctors that saw more patients and worked longer hours generally making more money, while those who work part-time make less. According to Merritt, Hawkins & Associates, a recruitment firm, starting salaries for full time pediatricians range from a low of $100,000 to a high of $160,000, with an average starting salary of $130,000.

From about.com

A pediatrician is a doctor who works with babies, children, teenagers, and sometimes young adults. They work to cure sick kids and give them check-ups. Sometimes pediatricians prescribe medicine, too. Pediatricians do about seven check-ups in the first year of a baby's life. Pediatricians may stay with a patient until they're twenty-one years of age. Before or during a check-up, pediatricians examine a patient's medical record. These charts contain the patients medical history, like past fractures, illnesses, and growing patterns. They add to these charts to keep them up to date with the children. A check-up is also a time to give the parent advice about keeping the child healthy. Pediatricians use special equipment and gadgets to examine patients. A stethoscope is used to listen to the patients heart and lungs. This tool can help point out irregular breathing and heart sounds which can lead to health problems. An otoscope is used to look into the patients ears. This device has a light attached so the pediatrician can see the eardrum. Pediatricians use a flat wood stick called a tongue depressor to observe a patient's mouth and throat. This keeps the tongue down so the tonsils are visible. A blood pressure cuff is put around a patients arm and used to check blood pressure. There is an air pump attached to the cuff that inflates it, squeezing the patients arm. This stops the blood from flowing through the artery. Then the pediatrician lets air escape and listens to the immediate blood flow. hospital Pediatricians visit their patients at a clinic, medical office, or hospital. They have regular hours, but sometimes need to work outside those hours for emergencies. In order to be a pediatrician, you need to know how to recognize if a child is physically or mentally ill. They also need to understand good nutrition habits for kids. They should know what food kids should eat and how many servings of food each day.carrot Pediatricians specialize in child health care but may need help with their job. They may refer a child to a pediatric subspecialist. They may ask for help from a pediatric cardiologist who can treat children with heart disorders. Or they may ask for help from a neonatologist, who knows about diseases of babies, or a neurologist, who knows about problems in a child's nervous system. Pediatricians are also concerned with proper hygiene. Bathing and washing hands are important because if you don't, you can catch germs and become sick. A pediatrician might write out a prescription to a patient and have a pharmacist give the patient the medicine to cure them.medicine If an illness is bad enough, a pediatrician might hospitalize a patient. The pediatrician can contact doctors and surgeons and give them information on the patient. To become a pediatrician it takes years of studying. They need to understand science, like biology, anatomy, physiology, and psychology. To become a pediatrician, you need to also study chemistry, sociology, and physics. They also take math classes to learn how to solve equations. They must earn a Bachelor’s degree. After college, students need to attend medical school, but they must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) before they do so. They have to have good grades to be accepted into medical school. It usually takes four years to complete medical school. After you’ve gotten a Medical Degree, you must finish residency programs to practice medicine. Residencies are training programs. Residencies usually take three years to complete to become a pediatrician in the U.S. Pediatricians need a license to practice medicine. They need to get their license in the state or province they want to work in. They must pass both the residency program and licensing exam. Some pediatricians continue to learn about medicine by joining organizations.
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