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Pediatrics Schooling Options and Requirements

Pediatricians, or Doctors of Medicine (M.D.) in pediatrics, must undergo the same schooling as other medical doctors and then receive specialized training in pediatrics. Continue reading to see what you should keep in mind as you consider different pediatrics programs, and to view some schools in the U.S. that offer pediatrics degrees.

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Aspiring pediatricans can find residency programs and fellowship training in pediatrics at numerous well-known or highly ranked medical schools in the U.S.

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10 Top Pediatrics Schools in the U.S.

The following are some of the best schools offering pediatrics programs.

University/College Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Graduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
University of Pennsylvania (Perelman) Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $31,068
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $41,832
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 4-year, Public Doctoral $12,790 in-state, $24,532 out-of-state
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $48,710
University of Colorado - Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO 4-year, Public Doctoral $6,516 in-state, $20,358 out-of-state
University of California-San Francisco San Francisco, CA 4-year, Public Doctoral $11,220 in-state, $26,322 out-of-state
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $45,729
University of Washington multiple locations 4-year, Public Doctoral $15,207 in-state, $27,255 out-of-state (for Seattle campus)
Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $19,000
Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $47,300

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Medical School Programs

Students spend the first two years of medical school completing intensive coursework in the sciences. The final two years completing core and selective clinical rotations. Students may also complete research projects. Topics for the first two years cover anatomy, immunology, neurology, ethics, and pathology.

Residency in Pediatric Medicine

Upon completion of a medical degree program, students enter into residency programs focusing on pediatric medicine. Residency programs typically last three years for general pediatrics and 4-5 years for combined training programs. Residencies combine didactic training with clinical rotations, and some programs give students the opportunity to conduct research. Additionally, pediatricians can apply for certification from the American Board of Pediatrics. Students can take a variety of elective courses, such as vascular access, anesthesia, genetics, parenting, and pediatric surgery.

Fellowship in Pediatric Medicine

Some physicians elect to complete fellowships following their residencies. Fellowships give doctors the opportunity to develop expertise in a subspecialty and often conduct original research. Some fellowships prepare doctors to take roles in public health, such as advising policy-makers. Fellowships vary in length, but most take 2-3 years to complete. Fellows attend seminars in areas such as scientific writing, community pediatrics, health literacy, cultural competence, and adolescent medicine.

School Selection Criteria

Remember the following considerations as you search for a pediatrics program:

  • Any prospective program should be accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (www.lcme.org), and residencies and fellowships should be accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (www.acgme.org).
  • While pediatrics is a required clinical rotation, students can check to see if additional rotations related to pediatrics are available as electives at the school of their choice.
  • When choosing a residency, students can look for schools that offer a combined training program that prepares them to become board certified in one or two specialties, in addition to pediatrics.
  • Students might also consult professional organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for suggestions on choosing a school. For example, the AAP suggests that students consider the faculty on staff at a residency program.

Students who want to focus on pediatrics in their careers can get specialized training through clinical rotations in medical school before continuing on to residencies and fellowships in pediatrics. After medical school, students can expect to spend 4-5 years in residency programs in pediatrics and have the option to pursue pediatric fellowships.

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