What does a paediatrician do?
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- assessing children who are ill, injured or have disabilities
- referring patients to specialist consultants for tests
- prescribing medication, surgery or therapies
- explaining diagnosis and treatment plans to parents and children
- writing patient notes and producing medical reports for professionals
- monitoring patient progress and responses to treatments
- supervising and training junior medical staff
What do I need to do to become a paediatrician?
You can get into this job through a university course.
You'll need to complete:
- a 5-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council
- a 2-year foundation course of general training
- 4 to 7 years of specialist training, depending on your chosen area of medicine
If you already have a degree in a science subject (minimum upper second), you could take a 4-year graduate entry programme into medicine.
You may be able to join a 6-year degree course in medicine if you have no science qualifications. This includes a one-year pre-medical or foundation year.
You could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test or BioMedical Admissions Test, when you apply for a course. They test the skills you'll need on the course like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.
Medical schools will also expect you to have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has information on finding a placement.
You'll usually need:
- 7 GCSEs, including sciences, with 5 subjects at grades 9 to 7 (A* or A) and English and maths at least grade 6 to 5 (B)
- 3 A levels at grade A in chemistry and either biology, physics or maths, plus another academic subject
Restrictions and requirements
You'll need to:
- Three A levels or equivalent, in chemistry and either biology, physics, or maths, plus another academic subject
- Medical degree
- Two years of foundation training
- Three to eight years of specialist training
- DBS clearance
Where to find out more
You'll need to register with the General Medical Council.
Check if your university has a paediatric society and get involved. The societies are a good way to hear about paediatric events, talks and training in your medical school.
Professional and industry bodies
Where could I be working?
You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a health centre or in the community.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.
You may need to wear a uniform.
You can apply for senior consultant roles, once you're on the General Medical Council Specialist Register.
You may go on to lead a team, manage a department or become medical director for an NHS Trust.
You could also move into teaching and training students, trainee doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0