5 things you should know about being a paediatrician
Are you often thinking “Should I be a paediatrician?”
Here are a few things you should know about this profession.
- It takes very long to become a paediatrician.
If you wonder how to become a paediatrician fast, the answer is: there is no way! A paediatrician first completes medicine studies, which take between 5 and 6 years and need to be followed by two years of foundation training. They can then apply for the specialised training in Paediatrics, which takes 8 years. If you are considering a paediatrician career, be aware that it takes a very long time completing all the trainings. It is hard to become a paediatrician.
- You need to investigate to do your diagnosis
Your patients are children; they do not know any medical terms and can sometimes struggle explaining their symptoms. When you will examine babies, they will not tell you why they cry and where it hurts. Parents sometimes have difficulties understanding the symptoms themselves and will not be able to explain you either. You will have to observe, investigate, looking for anything unusual in order to understand what they have.
- Having kids yourself will change your approach
You do not interact the same way with kids if you have some yourself. You may recognise reactions, symptoms that you have experienced with your own children. On the other hand, you will also have more empathy for both the child and the parents. You will be more likely to doubt treatments that could be painful, even if you know they are the best.
- You will never completely switch off from work
If you see a child crying or that looks unwell anywhere, you will feel the need to help. When you tell patients you are a paediatrician they usually feel trustful and let you take care of their child. Friends and relatives will also always ask you for medical advice. If you can help them out, remind them they should actually always consult their own practitioner.
- You will have to work with various people, and take different roles as well
As a paediatrician you will work with patients that change quickly and so you will need to assume different roles. If they experience troubles at school, you may have to act as a psychologist or social worker if needed and work closely with their teacher. Once teenagers, you could a figure to turn to if they need information and support on matters such as drugs or sexual health. You are an adult they know since birth, but they might feel less scared to talk to than parents. Paediatricians can work in different structures such as hospitals or private practices of course but also educational structures.