The process of becoming a pediatrician involves many years of in-class and on-the-job education and training. As with any medical profession, this preparation should be followed by continuing education throughout the career.

Undergraduate Degree

The first educational requirement needed to become a pediatrician is a four-year undergraduate degree that includes biological science-related classes. Such courses include biology, physics, chemistry and math.

Medical School

Undergraduate school is followed by four years of medical school that covers topics like anatomy, pathology, physiology, microbiology and other science and health courses.

Pediatric Internship

After medical school, future pediatricians must complete a 12-month pediatric training program in the subspecialty of their choice to get hands-on medical experience.


A two- to six-year residency in a medical facility is completed after the internship. Here, the future pediatrician gains more real-world experience in the subspecialty.


All U.S. states require that physicians get a license to practice medicine. This is acquired by passing the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination.


U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics: Physicians and Surgeons

More Information:

American Academy of Pediatrics: Learn More About Pediatric Subspecialists