There are many steps along the road to becoming a Pediatrician, beginning when you start college.
In general, your timeline will look something like this:
Starting CollegeYour first steps are going to involve choosing a major and making sure that you satisfy the minimum premed course requirements of the medical school you want to attend. These includes courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English, and Calculus.
Applying to Medical SchoolDuring your junior year of college, you will:
- take the MCAT or Medical College Admissions Test (April)
- begin completing applications to the Medical Schools that you are interested in attending (May)
- request letters of recommendation from your college professors (May)
- retake the MCAT if you didn't do well (August)
Medical School InterviewsOnce you have completed your premed course requirements, taken the MCAT, and sent off all of your applications, you can prepare to begin interviewing at Medical Schools that are interested in you. These interviews generally continue through the fall of your senior year, depending on how many schools you choose to interview with, and are completed by late December.
The interview process is followed by Acceptance Day in February and depending on how many schools you were accepted at, a few months to make a decision on where you want to go.
Becoming a PediatricianOnce in Medical School, your days of test taking and interviewing are far from over. This time, instead of the MCAT, you will have to take the three step United States Medical Licensing Examination or USMLE. Medical students usually take the USMLE Step 1 exam during their second or third year of medical school and Step 2 in their final year of medical school.
In addition to taking the Step 1 and 2 of the USMLE, you will apply to and interview at any pediatric residency programs that you are interested in during your 3rd and 4th year of medical school.
Step 3 of the USMLE is a two day test that you will take at the end of your internship. Upon passing it, you can usually apply for a state medical license.
To be a board certified Pediatrician, you still have to finish your residency and pass the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) examination.