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Pediatrician Schools and Universities in the U.S.

To become a pediatrician, an individual must earn a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.). After that, they must complete a residency in pediatrics, and they may also choose to complete a fellowship in a particular subfield.

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There are many medical schools in the United States, both public and private, that provide M.D. programs, as well as residency and fellowship opportunities in pediatrics.

Top 10 Pediatrician Schools

In 2016, U.S. News & World Report indicated that these are the ten best pediatric medical schools in the United States:

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition (In-state, 2015-2016)*
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private $52,210
Harvard University Boston, MA 4-year, Private $55,850
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 4-year, Public $29,680
University of Colorado Aurora, CO 4-year, Public $35,678
University of Washington Seattle, WA 4-year, Public $33,519
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private $48,750
Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX 4-year, Private $19,650
University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA 4-year, Public $32,751
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Public $50,010
Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 4-year, Private $58,460

Source: *U.S. News & World Report

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School Selection Criteria

These are some important considerations to remember when choosing a pediatrician school:

  • Students must make sure that the school has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
  • Prospective students of pediatrics may want to choose medical schools affiliated with children's hospitals rather than general hospitals.
  • Students may want to find out what the pediatric residency placement rate is for graduates of a medical school's M.D. program.
  • After completing a residency program in pediatrics, doctors who wish to specialize in a particular area within pediatrics, such as pediatric oncology or cardiology, should look for schools with fellowship offerings in that area.

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) Programs

After fulfilling undergraduate pre-medical requirements and earning a bachelor's degree, aspiring pediatricians must earn an M.D. degree from an accredited medical school. In the first two years of these four-year programs, students take classroom- and laboratory-based courses in the biomedical sciences. After that, they participate in clinical rotations in each area of medicine, including pediatrics. Upon completion, they are prepared to apply for residency programs in their specialty area of interest.

Pediatric Residency Programs

Pediatric residency programs typically take three years to complete. Residents spend most of their time gaining supervised clinical experience in the field of pediatrics, often at children's hospitals. They may also attend seminars and have the opportunity to conduct research in the field. Most programs cover all areas of pediatrics, but some also allow students to choose combined tracks in specialization areas such as pediatric neurology. It is important to note that residents are paid a stipend.

Fellowship Programs

After finishing a residency program, trained pediatricians may opt to pursue a 1-2 year fellowship in a particular area of interest. These programs allow them to further specialize their training through focused clinical experience in a single subfield. Available options differ depending on the school, but possibilities include pediatric surgery, pediatric endocrinology, and pediatric radiology. Like residents, pediatric fellows receive a stipend.

Aspiring pediatricians can ensure the quality of their training by choosing an accredited medical school that is well-respected in the field of pediatrics. From there, they can get clinical pediatric training through residency and fellowship programs.

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