Job Description


Pediatricians specialize in treating ailments and illnesses of children.

They treat illnesses such as strep throat, pink eye, colds, and chicken pox. In addition, pediatricians help healthy children stay well; this can include administering immunizations, evaluating patients' growth and weight, and providing guidance for social, mental, and emotional health.

Pediatricians might work for clinics, hospitals, or in private practice.




Pediatricians work with kids to treat them of with a variety of illnesses, injuries, and health conditions. They also teach and work as administrators at medical centers and engage in medical research.

A medical doctor's responsibilities include:

  • Diagnosing diseases, illnesses, and/or conditions

  • Assessing the need for therapies and/or medicines and prescribing them

  • Providing information to patients and families regarding diagnosis and treatment goals

  • Monitoring patient progress and response to therapies and/or treatments

  • Maintaining patient records and accurate information




Medical doctors require a high level of science acumen. Aspiring physicians should focus on the human sciences during their undergraduate career, including biochemistry, biology, and anatomy, as they serve as the foundation to a full understanding of diagnosis and treatment.

Beyond a comprehensive understanding of science, a physician must possess highly developed communications and patient care skills.

Doctors often work with patients from all walks of life, and being able to sensitively and effectively communicate with anyone is fundamental to a successful career, as found in a recent study by the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

Confidence, empathy, respectfulness, and thoroughness all fall under patient care skills. While patients want a physician who can accurately and knowledgeably diagnose and treat their illness, they also want one who exhibits the aforementioned personality traits.


Working Conditions


Pediatric doctors work primarily in medical office settings but might need to travel to homes or hospitals when special patients' needs arise.

Generally speaking, pediatric doctors work on a full-time basis, although some longer hours might be needed.

These doctors are typically well paid, and the rewards of caring for children are great. However, working as a pediatrician can be stressful.

Positions for physicians are available in a variety of health care settings. A physician may elect to set up a private practice, either alone or as part of a larger medical practice group.

Others choose to work in medical centers and hospitals, universities and other public agencies.

Medical schools are working to increase their enrollments as a looming doctor shortage is expected in all geographic regions and areas of the profession.

It is likely that physicians in the future will work fewer hours, which means lower earnings but they should be able to retire earlier. Low-income areas and rural regions will hold the greatest employment opportunities.

JAMA, the prestigious professional journal of the American Medical Association (AMA), is a major source for employment opportunities.

The website for the AMA is part of an active network that helps physicians find the right job for them, in the right location and environment. 



Salary Outlook