Pediatricians are the physicians responsible for taking care of the health of children, pre-teens and adolescents. The work of a pediatrician is very rewarding, but like every profession in the health area, it requires that the professional is always up-to-date and improving their scientific knowledge. If you are still in doubt about which area of medicine to pursue, read this article and learn a little more about pediatrics.
Part 1 of 2: Getting General Medicine Training
Step 1. Enter medical school
To be a pediatrician, you must first finish medical school. This is the first step on the long road to becoming a pediatrician.
- Medicine is the science that studies the nature and causes of all diseases that afflict human beings. Doctors dedicate a good part of their university life to studying in detail all the organs, systems and apparatus of the human body and thus be able to diagnose, order tests and prescribe medication to fight and prevent diseases.
- Doctors need to be constantly updated to offer the most advanced treatments and the most effective medications for their patients.
Step 2. Know the course curriculum
The medical school lasts six years, but there is a proposal presented by the federal government to extend this period to eight years. In the first years of the course, the medical student learns basic subjects, such as anatomy, biochemistry and immunology.
- In the following years, the student learns subjects that study diseases such as pathology and the pathophysiology of the signs and symptoms of diseases. Some institutions offer practical classes right at the beginning of the course, so that students can become familiar with the activities.
- In addition to classes in the classroom, from the third year onwards, medical students also have the opportunity to work as an on-call physician in hospitals, when they are trained in patient care.
Step 3. Prepare for residency
The last two years of medical school are reserved for medical residency. During the residency, the student performs professional activities under the supervision of specialist physicians, and after completing this program, he receives the title of specialist.>
- The residency is a postgraduate teaching modality aimed at physicians. It takes place in healthcare institutions that offer programs that are accredited by the National Commission on Medical Residency.
- The pediatric residency is a specialization that requires a lot of study and dedication. It can be started right after the student finishes the medical course and medical residency.
- It is mandatory that the medical residency program in pediatrics is recognized by the MEC (Ministry of Education and Culture). The minimum workload required is 60 hours per week, and at the end of the course, the resident physician must pass the exam of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), to receive the title of pediatrician.
Part 2 of 2: Understanding the Challenges of the Profession
Step 1. Be prepared for the physical and emotional challenges involved in this profession
Pediatricians monitor sick and healthy children and, depending on the severity of the case, some of them may not survive.
- Parents can also be extremely emotional and sensitive to the state of their children, so it is very important to be understanding, patient, observant, have excellent communication skills and, above all, like children.
- It is very important to also understand child psychology and have a great knowledge of medicine, to be able to establish an effective diagnosis, as often your little patients will not be able to express their symptoms.
- The work routine of a pediatrician on duty is usually very intense. Therefore, the professional needs to be very well prepared, to face a working day with a large volume of care and to deal with the pressure of the children's parents and families, who want the doctor to cure their children.
- Working in public hospitals in Brazil is usually not easy. In addition to the high number of patients looking for care, in general, the number of doctors is very small. In addition, the doctor has yet to learn to put emotion into the background. It is necessary to know how to deal with the possibility of imminent death and be able to make quick decisions about which procedure to adopt and which dosage of medicine to prescribe. The health of such small and helpless beings depends on it.
Step 2. Engage in studies from an early age
Pediatrics involves not only curing diseases, but preventing them as well. Pediatricians must always be studying and researching the best forms of treatment and diagnosis, as their target audience is constantly growing and developing. Therefore, it is necessary to start dedicating to studies while still at the university stage.
- The student needs to seek a solid background in learning areas of medicine that include anatomy (especially children), physiology, clinical examination and analysis, basic child psychology, pedagogy, child pathology, basic chemistry, basic pharmacology, biology and research in the area accident prevention, among others.
- Be prepared to devote a lot of time in your day to classes and studies. As childhood injuries and accidents are the most common occurrences attended, the pediatrician needs to have a general knowledge of several other specialties, including orthopedics, speech therapy, physiotherapy, etc.
Step 3. Improve your resume
To become a doctor, you have to enjoy studying, reading, constantly updating yourself and participating in conferences and workshops. And pediatrics is no different.
Within pediatrics, it is possible to specialize in areas such as cardiology or neurology, pediatric intensive medicine or neonatology
Step 4. Love the kids
To be a pediatrician you must, above all, like children. You will deal daily with children and teenagers who often cannot understand what is happening to them. Therefore, it is also essential to know how to deal with parental anxiety.
Although it is a profession full of challenges, the field of work is very wide. Both the public and the private sector lack qualified pediatric professionals. Therefore, take advantage of all the opportunities for specialization and courses, to always stay well informed and be able to exercise your profession with capacity and a lot of knowledge
- Keep in mind that as a doctor who takes care of children, you will need to be very patient.
- ProUni and FIES are programs offered by the Ministry of Education that offer scholarships or full or partial funding for students from private colleges or universities. To participate, the candidate must have completed all secondary education in a public school, or in a private educational institution on a scholarship. The student must also be enrolled in higher education and have positive evaluations in the MEC evaluations.
- Even though you are sure about your choice, get in touch with other specialties of medicine. The early years of medicine will help you discover your areas of interest.
- Children are still developing beings. The anatomy and functioning of your body are very different from adults, and this requires the pediatric professional to study a lot and have deep knowledge in medicine.