Pediatricians are doctors that work exclusively with infants, children, and teenagers. These doctors handle everything from basic routine care, to diagnosing illnesses, and everything in between.
Some pediatricians specialize in a particular area such as pediatric oncology, endocrinology, hematology, or asthma. Pediatricians work with both children and their families to provide information, education, and medication as needed. He or she may design treatment programs, or may recommend specialized services. Other common duties include: taking basic medical histories, performing physical examinations, conducting tests, analyzing test data, prescribing medication, making referrals, handling insurance issues, and creating reports.
Pediatricians are required to hold at least a medical degree in pediatrics. Some specialties or employers may require pediatricians to hold a Ph.D. in their specific field. A two to five year residency program must also be completed. Pediatricians must be fully licensed and certified. Other required skills include: the ability to effectively relate to and communicate with children, educational skills, diagnostic skills, analytical skills, computer skills, research skills, the ability to multitask, the ability to work as part of a team, the desire to help others, and the ability to work an irregular schedule. The field of pediatrics is expanding and has a projected growth rate of at least 18%.
The typical average salary of a pediatrician with less than two years of work experience is about $133,000 per year, while pediatricians with over four years of work experience earn an average of about $161,000 per year.