Summary of profession

A pediatrician is a physician that treats all types of infectious childhood diseases, including mumps, measles and chicken pox. During the course of a regular workday, a doctor might deal with matters ranging from a case of acne to a child’s ongoing battle with muscular dystrophy. Many of their patients have yet to develop communication skills; therefore, physicians must be able to provide a diagnosis based on visual and auditory indicators. 

Working hours, patterns and environments

Most pediatricians work more than full-time, usually around 60 hours per week. Those who work in hospitals or clinics should often work in shift rotations and on an on-call basis. Even general pediatricians in private practice are often called in to consult with hospital doctors when one of their regular patients is brought in as an emergency patient. 

Education and skills

This process consists of four years of college, four years of medical school and, finally, a residency (on-the-job training) that lasts between 3-8 years. A sub-specialization, such as autoimmune disorders or pediatric surgery, can lengthen the residency. 

Job growth and opportunities

With experience and credentials a doctor could open his own practice or join with a partner.