Being a pediatrician is both taxing and rewarding if you have a strong passion for helping children. Pediatricians are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating illnesses in children from birth through the age of 21. The rigors of the work, combined with the seven to 10 years required of education and residency, should lead to some job rewards.
Money may not provide an emotional joy, but it does certainly contribute to the overall benefit of working in medicine. Pediatricians earned an average annual salary of $168,650 as of May 2011. This is well-above average for all income earners and in the middle of the pack for doctors. Strong income allows doctors to enjoy a high quality of life away from work.
One of the most significant contributors to pain for pediatricians is also a common source of joy -- treating sick kids. In the worst cases, pediatricians, especially those working in hospitals, suffer along-side terminally ill kids as they near death. On the positive side, though, pediatricians can help hundreds or even thousands of children recover from minor colds and major illnesses over the course of their careers. The ability to share your knowledge and expertise to positively impact a young person's health can definitely cause a feeling of joy.
Babies and Small Children
While pediatricians do commonly care for adolescents up to 21, some specialize in infants, babies and toddlers. During routine well-child visits throughout the first few years of a baby's life, the pediatrician gets to know the personality and character of her patients. Assuming the baby is in reasonably good health, this can be a very endearing part of the job. Pediatricians get to share in the development and growth of the baby from first cries to first grade.
As a pediatrician, you typically aren't alone in the care of children, especially ones that struggle with serious health issues. When dealing with uncommon illnesses or diseases, pediatricians often refer care and collaborate with specialists, including pediatric surgeons and specialists of the heart, central nervous system and brain. Building these relationships and sharing in the physical and emotional developing and well-being of kids adds to the rewards of helping.
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