Pursuing a medical career provides an opportunity to use my expertise to help others, a significantly younger population. In fact, pediatrics is part of the medical field that considers the medical care of children and adolescents. A pediatrician helps improve or restore children’s health, so knowing a pediatrician’s role and the pros and cons of this career will help determine whether it’s worth pursuing.
What Is A Pediatrician?
A pediatrician is a medical professional who treats children from birth to age 18. They focus on preventative care and their patients’ health and growth. Below are the common duties of a pediatrician:
- Perform examinations to monitor a patient’s health and development
- Prescribe medications as needed
- Record the health and development of children
- Administer immunizations as needed
- Establish treatment plans for ill or injured children
- Provide patient referrals to specialists
- Advise parents and caregivers regarding the patients’ diagnosis
What Are The Pros Of Being A Pediatrician and Why Choose To Become One?
In the medical field, pediatricians receive some of the highest salaries. In fact, the average income of a pediatrician is currently about $170,000 a year. However, it is expected to earn more working in private practice or specializing in, for instance, oncology or cardiology.
Pediatricians have more flexible options to choose from than other specialists. Below are some choices for sub-specialties in pediatrics, which include:
- Adolescent Medicine
- Child Abuse
- Critical Care
- Rheumatology, etc
Moreover, specializing offers more employment opportunities and a higher salary, giving more options for working environments.
Many Employment Opportunities
While most pediatricians work in general hospitals, job opportunities exist in universities, outpatient clinics, professional schools, physicians’ offices, and specialized children’s hospitals.
In Demand Job
Since the world’s population continues to grow, pediatricians will always be in demand. In fact, demand is even higher in rural or low-income areas. This is because the immune systems of children and adolescents are not yet fully functional, which means they need special healthcare until they become adults.
In terms of working hours, pediatricians can enjoy greater flexibility. In fact, they work fewer hours than other medical specialists since they rarely work in a 9-5 schedule and have no need to work at night. Additionally, pediatricians can choose to work on a part-time basis, especially those who are nearing retirement.
Improve Public Health
They are among the primary promoters of immunizations/vaccinations since they help raise awareness and administer them. This is because immunizations protect children from getting infectious diseases and help spread awareness about protecting others around them. In addition, they also teach parents how to prevent the spread of these diseases and provide preventive care services.
Precisely, the desire to help children is the most logical reason people get into pediatrics. Indeed, it may be hard to think of an occupation more rewarding than one that makes kids feel better. A great sense of satisfaction comes with treating a sick child, possibly saving their life, and improving their health.
Working With Children
As pediatricians, most patients come to them as infants and watch them become adults. They have a significant role in helping them learn how to live healthy lifestyles. Kids are genuine and spontaneous with their feelings and thoughts, making it so easy to work with them.
An Exciting Career
Being a pediatrician, interacting with different kinds of patients makes the job more exciting as new experiences are acquired daily. Pediatrician gets to treat various diseases, which makes the job challenging and allows for mental stimulation.
What Are The Cons Of Being A Paediatrician?
Lengthy and Expensive Schooling
To become a pediatrician, four years of undergraduate studies, four years of medical school, and three years of residency. Those interested in any sub-specialties will likely take another three years. That said, spending over a decade in school is something to be prepared for the weighty responsibility of this occupation.
Pediatrics can be stressful under certain conditions, although it may not be the most stressful in the medical field. As such, the lighter stressors are children who are scared of doctors, while it can also be overwhelming in work environments like public hospitals with fewer pediatricians than patients. Additionally, many pediatricians cite frustrations with paperwork, bureaucracy, and rising healthcare costs.
Most pediatricians, especially office-based ones, can maintain normal working hours. However, this isn’t to say that hours don’t get long or irregular considering medical emergencies don’t keep a schedule. They may work at night, over the weekends, and on holidays, which means achieving and maintaining a healthy work/life balance can be a bit challenging.
Too young or developmentally delayed children can’t explain their symptoms, leaving them to rely on clinical skills. Effective communication skills are needed to get creative when dealing with them. It also means performing thorough exams to develop the proper diagnosis.
While it takes a team to treat a sick child, dealing with difficult parents, guardians, and carers is challenging. Unfortunately, some parents take positions that are not in the child’s best interest, such as refusing to vaccinate. In addition, some parents are incredibly dominating, while others are neglectful, which means not caring about their child’s welfare.
Although pediatricians enjoy high trust from the general public and their patients, they are not immune to medical malpractice. In fact, pediatric lawsuits are typically the consequence of failure to diagnose, delay and errors in diagnosis, medical errors, missing conditions during routine exams, and failure to obtain informed consent, to name a few. Additionally, a malpractice suit is not only costly, but it can also damage the reputation.
Death of patients is never easy and witnessing a young child pass away is probably the worst thing about being a pediatrician, especially when it could have been prevented with the proper parenting and precautions. Indeed, watching the patient in pain is already difficult, but losing them is heartbreaking and can leave a guilty feeling and wondering what could have been done better to save their lives.
The Bottom Line
Learning and understanding the pros and cons of being a pediatrician, you may be thinking about how you can pursue a career in this field. As a pediatrician, it’s your job to keep your patients healthy, diagnose conditions and provide the proper treatment to maintain, improve or restore someone’s health. Vitality Home Health offers a pediatrics service specializing in children’s care, such as diagnosing, treating, and offering preventative guidance on childhood diseases, illnesses, and injuries.