For a person who wants to become a pediatric pathologist, the road to beginning this career can be long. A person in this field typically completes four years each of college and medical school. After medical school, he then goes on to complete a lengthy residency program, which is a type of on-the-job training for people in the medical field. In some places, residency training can last for more than four years. Finally, a person who wants to become a pediatric pathologist may have to complete a fellowship program that lasts for an additional year.
A person who plans to become a pediatric pathologist prepares for a career that focuses on figuring out the causes of diseases and conditions that affect children. When a person develops a condition or illness, the cause and type of illness may be a mystery at first. A pediatric pathologist typically has the job of checking blood, bodily fluid, or tissue samples to look for abnormal developments that might provide clues. The pediatric pathologist shares his conclusions with his patient’s medical doctors, facilitating diagnosis and treatment. Typically, pediatric pathologists work behind the scenes for the diagnosis of the patient rather than examining and advising patients in person.
As with many professional careers, preparation for a career in pediatric pathology often starts with high school. Aspiring pathology students are advised to take advanced math and science classes to prepare for this career. Additional writing, drama, and public speaking classes may help a student build written and verbal communication skills that may prove essential throughout his career. Volunteering at a medical facility may provide good preparation as well.
College is the next step in becoming a pediatric pathologist. Most people earn a bachelor’s degree in pursuit of a career in this field. Since the goal of a pediatric pathologist is to gain admission to medical school, he may choose a science or pre-medical major. This is not strictly necessary, however, as many medical schools accept applicants who have earned bachelor’s degrees in other fields.
A person who wants to become a pediatric pathologist typically spends four years in medical school after completing college. He then goes on to complete a residency, which usually lasts for five years. In many places, an aspiring pediatric pathologist then completes a fellowship in his pediatric specialty. A fellowship is an advanced type of training for which a doctor usually receives a stipend. The fellowship usually takes place in a hospital.