Just like Internal medicine doctors are experts in adults, Pediatricians are experts in children. Pediatrics is considered a primary care field and most patients will stick with you in to their late teens! They are the first point of contact for many frightened parents with sick babies, children, and adolescents.
One of the downsides to this field and probably the saddest part is that eventually your patients will have to transition on to an adult doctor, whether family medicine or internal medicine. But one of the cool things I’ve noticed rotating with my pediatric attendings is this smile on their face as they turn to me and say, “I took care of her as a child, and now I’m taking care of her children.”
That’s the lure of primary care, to be connected so personally with your patients as you both go through life.
The national average starting salary for pediatric doctors finishing residency is $135,000. After you’ve been seasoned, the maximum salary we’ve seen is $271,000.
Most pediatricians make between $147,108 and $188,654 dollars. As a pediatric hospitalist, you might be able to make more money while having a better lifestyle. Hospitalists work in shifts instead of the typical 9 – 5 work day plus overnight call.
To become a pediatrician, you need to complete 3 years of residency in pediatrics. That’s the norm for primary care specialties [ internal medicine and family medicine ].
Just like in internal medicine, pediatricians can do fellowships after residency in order to specialize in a particular body system. Specializing will allow you to earn a higher salary.
Pediatrics is probably the most competitive of the 3 primary care specialties because they have the least amount of spots. In the most recent match, there were only 209 residency programs that offered 2,428 spots.
Pediatrics is a very interesting field. The amount of pathology that children can have is as vast as the adult world. When I rotated as a resident in Salt Lake City and Minneapolis, I met many pediatric residents who had the biggest smiles on their faces from talking to their patients. Their smiles were so big, you couldn’t help but smile too. This makes me believe that this field is extremely rewarding for those who love children. The salary, however, is just average.