What is a Pediatrician?

A pediatrician is a medical doctor who specializes in treating infants, children, and teens. A pediatrician's patients range in age from newborn babies to about 18 years old.

It usually takes 11 years of additional schooling after high school graduation to become a pediatrician. This includes 4 years of undergraduate studies at a college or university, 4 years of medical school and 3 years of pediatric residency.

The graduate from medical school is now a doctor and can put the MD after his or her name. Most medical school graduates go on to specialize in a particular field such as pediatrics, family practice, surgery, or internal medicine. These specialties require additional training. The training in these specialty fields is called a residency. The pediatric residency is 3 years long. A doctor in a residency training program is called a resident. In the first year of residency the doctor might also be called an intern.

Some physicians may have additional training; for example, Dr. Wiseman completed 2 years of training in psychiatry.

To obtain board certification, pediatricians must pass a comprehensive exam administered by the American Board of Pediatrics. Recertification exams are taken every seven years, so pediatricians must stay current on all aspects of child health. Also, each state requires a certain number of hours of continued medical education for licensing. The state of Washington requires 200 hours of Continued Medical Education every four years.