The medical specialty of pediatrics focuses on caring for and managing health issues impacting adolescents, children, and infants. Medical professionals who provide care for this population are referred to as pediatricians. Within the specialty of pediatrics, there are various subspecialties that require additional education to obtain the licenses needed to practice in these areas. For a full list of pediatric subspecialties, check out the American Board of Pediatrics website.

Like the specialties of internal medicine and family medicine, those who specialize in pediatrics provide routine care for their patients. This includes helping them manage chronic conditions, treating short-term illnesses, and providing preventative medicine. The later is associated with educating patients and their guardians on ways to maintain good health through diet and exercise.

Because the patients they treat are continually growing, pediatricians must be well-versed in physiology. The level of maturity that a patient is at is taken into account when prescribing medication and other forms of treatment.

Interested in providing medical care to children on a daily basis? The medical specialty of pediatrics may be the right fit for you! Continue reading below for information on the residency requirements for this specialty and what it’s like to practice as a pediatrician.



Once graduated from medical school, individuals who are interested in specializing in pediatrics will need to apply for and then enroll in a pediatrics residency program. According to the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, there were 9,221 pediatric residents between 2018 and 2019. Of these residents, 1,819, or just under 20%, identified as international medical graduates. This data places pediatrics somewhere in the middle when it comes to medical specialties that are more IMG friendly.

In most cases, pediatrics residencies last three years. Those who want to receive a license in a subspecialty of pediatrics may elect to pursue a combined residency program of five years or the regular three-year residency followed by a two-year subspecialty fellowship.


Practicing as a Pediatrician

At present, roughly 90,000 pediatricians are practicing in the U.S. The number of professionals in this specialty may explain why they have smaller salaries than medical professionals in other specialties. During 2019, the average salary for pediatricians was $225,000.

Roughly 45% of practicing physicians feel that this salary is not enough for the work they do. Despite this, about 75% of pediatricians say, if given the choice again, they would still choose pediatrics.


Interested in the medical specialty of pediatrics? AMO has many clinical experiences in this medical specialty!

Create an account to explore the possibilities >