Pediatric neurologists play a very important role in helping children with brain disorders in society. They may help identify rare diseases within young children in order to prevent the condition from worsening later in adult years. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a pediatric neurologist?” If you have a passion for helping to prevent disabilities in children who have chronic illnesses, then you may want to become a pediatric neurologist. Pursuing this career takes dedication, determination and a drive to succeed.
What’s it like to be a pediatric neurologist?
If you become a pediatric neurologist, you may work in a hospital setting or private practice. You will have daily appointments with children and will frequently be in communication with parents. During an appointment, you may perform a brain scan or other tests to see whether a child has a tumor or other issue in the cranial region. Those who enjoy this career have a passion for helping children. You should also have the ability to deal with traumatic situations. You may need to perform a last-minute surgery on a child who has suddenly been involved in an accident and is suffering major brain damage. People who are able to work well under pressure are able to thrive in this career.
To become a pediatric neurologist, you should be prepared to complete intense education requirements. Some individuals who aspire to pursue this career option will begin taking related coursework during the high school years. The high school years can be used to get basic science requirements out of the way. To become a pediatric neurologist, you will need to complete a total of eleven years of education. If you are able to obtain college credit during high school, then you may be able to shave some time off of this figure.
You will need to obtain a four-year degree from a college in order to attend medical school. Your four-year degree should have a focus in neurology, psychology or anatomy. You may want to pursue a pre-med degree in order to get a basic understanding of all areas of science prior to medical school. After the successful completion of a four-year program, then you will have to take the MCAT entrance exam in order to be admitted into a medical school. You will need to then complete a four-year program at a medical school. After you receive a degree from an accredited medical school, you will then complete a three-year residency requirement. The residency requirement gives you the opportunity to work in a hospital and see how doctors help patients on a daily basis. You may want to apply to fellowship programs that have a specific focus in pediatric neurology.
Salary & How to Get a Job
The BLS reports that the average salary for a pediatric neurologist is about $166,000 a year. This figure can increase substantially if a doctor decides to open a private pediatric neurology practice. To obtain a job as a pediatric neurologist, individuals can apply for positions at hospitals or in private practices. One can always decide to open his or her own solo pediatric neurology practice. Individuals typically face the most difficulty in finding a job in this field during their first year out of medical school.
Becoming a pediatric neurologist can give a person the opportunity to pursue meaningful work. Being able to help children overcome rare brain disorders and disabilities is a very rewarding experience for those who decide to enter into this field. The ultimate reward of helping children is what makes the intense challenges of this field worthwhile.