What Education Is Necessary to Become a Pediatrician?

education-necessary-become-pediatrician Credit: US Army Garrison Red Cloud - Casey/CC-BY-2.0

To become a pediatrician, one must complete a four-year bachelor's degree in a pre-med major such as biology or chemistry, spend four years in medical school and finish with a residency program that varies in length based on specialty, according to Healthcare Careers. Focusing on dealing with children, pediatricians can be either general practitioners or specialize in one particular area of expertise.

A person interested in becoming a pediatrician must excel academically during her undergraduate degree, as entry into medical school is highly competitive, according to Healthcare Careers. She must also take and do well on the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT. Throughout medical school, students learn about becoming a doctor in both classroom and applied settings. Upon graduation, a residency is undertaken, typically lasting a few years, at which time the speciality of pediatric medicine is studied. Upon graduation, the demand for pediatricians is high and the career options are many, with the opportunity to work in hospitals, clinics, health care organizations and private practice. Some of the highest-paying pediatrician specialties include pediatric cardiology, oncology and neurology. Pediatricians work with children from infancy through the young adult phase of life and deal primarily with illness, injuries and disorders.