July 11, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
One of the main reasons why anyone would want to become a paediatrician is that this is a very satisfying profession. Not only is working with kids very interesting but you also get to see your patients grow up, which can be a huge reward in itself. However, interesting as it may sound, being a paediatrician is not for everybody.
There are a few things you need to consider and a few questions to ponder over before you make a final decision:
If you’ve answered yes to all or most of the above questions, you should consider specialising in paediatrics.
In the UK, paediatric specialty training typically takes 8 years.
Years 1 to 3 involve basic paediatric training. At this stage you will be required to obtain membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health before you can move on to any further training. Membership is granted by passing the MRCPCH exams.
The 4th and 5th years of training are focused on more advanced training in three main areas – neonatology, acute paediatrics and community paediatrics.
Years 6 to 8 involve further training in general paediatrics or specific training in one of the sub-specialities, which could include paediatric neurology or paediatric gastroenterology.
At the end of the 8 year training period, if your progress and workplace assessments have been satisfactory, you will have earned the Certificate of Completion of Training. This certificate will gain you entry on the Specialist Register, which allows you to practice as a Consultant Paediatrician. At present there is no exit exam in paediatrics.
Becoming a paediatrician is a big career choice and you want to make sure you check into all aspects of the field to make sure it is the right choice for you. Of course if you love working with children, have plenty of patience and can handle the schedule and financial constraints of 8 years of training, then you should definitely consider specialising in paediatrics.