Opportunities for Advancement for a Pediatrician

Career Growth Opportunities for Pediatricians

Pediatricians are medical doctors who provide a wide range of care to children and adolescents in private practice and in hospital settings. After gaining experience as a general pediatrician, some may wish to advance their careers. One option is to pursue a fellowship to work in a specialized area of pediatric medicine, such as development, nephrology, infectious diseases, or endocrinology. Others might seek supervisory and adminstrative roles such as that of a chief medical officer. Some information on these careers is presented here.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)** Job Growth (2016-2026)* Education or Experience
Developmental Pediatrician $166,860 15% (pediatricians) Fellowship and certification
Pediatric Nephrologist $179,963 15% (pediatricians) Fellowship and certification
Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist $205,402 15% (pediatricians) Fellowship and certification
Pediatric Endocrinologist $219,917 15% (pediatricians) Fellowship and certification
Chief Medical Officer $350,000 8% (medical and health services managers, hospitals) Experience in medicine and leadership

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **

Career Information

Developmental Pediatrician

One option for pediatricians seeking to grow their careers within pediatric specialties is to seek advancement as developmental pediatricians. Developmental pediatricians focus on the treatment of developmental and behavioral disorders in children, including autism and ADHD. Developmental pediatricians evaluate children with these concerns and recommend various forms of treatments. Those seeking to become developmental pediatricians must complete a three-year fellowship in developmental/behavioral pediatrics after the completion of a pediatric residency, and then earn certification through the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).

Pediatric Nephrologist

Another area of specialty might be that of pediatric nephrology. Pediatric nephrologists focus on caring for children with kidney or urologic disorders. They may provide treatments including kidney transplants or dialysis to ensure patient care. In order to focus on pediatric nephrology, the candidate must complete a pediatric nephrology fellowship of three years and seek certification through the ABP.

Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist

Some pediatricians seeking to specialize in an area of patient care may consider focusing as pediatric infectious disease specialists. These doctors care for children suffering from infectious diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. They are skilled in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of a range of infectious diseases. Those wishing to become pediatric infectious disease specialists must complete a three-year fellowship after their residency and earn American Board of Pediatrics certification.

Pediatric Endocrinologist

Another specialty option for pediatricians is to focus as a pediatric endocrinologist. These doctors focus on care for children with disorders of the endocrine system, including diabetes, thyroid conditions, and adrenal conditions. These conditions can impact a child's growth, mood, and development. Due to the nature of these conditions, the pediatric endocrinologist must provide treatment and education for the patient and the caregivers concerning the nature of the health concerns. To become a pediatric endocrinologist, it is necessary to complete a three-year fellowship after the medical residency and earn specialty certification from the American Board of Pediatrics.

Chief Medical Officer

Pediatricians who wish to move into a managerial role may aspire to a position as a chief medical officer, or CMO. Chief medical officers work on a team of physicians that oversee patient care in a hospital. The CMO examines data to find areas where patient care must be improved and oversees quality assurance initiatives. He or she is also responsible for ensuring that all privacy and safety regulations are followed, as well as drafting and filing reports regarding these matters. The CMO must consult frequently with other hospital administrators and physicians. Chief medical officers must possess significant experience as physicians, and should also possess experience in hospital leadership.

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