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What it takes to be a paediatrician

education Updated: Nov 03, 2011 17:13 IST
Hindustan Times
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The lowdown
A paediatrician is a doctor of medicine or a surgeon who treats children up to the age of 14. A paediatrician’s work goes beyond the operation theatre to train young patients’ mind as well – winning their trust, getting them to understand they are unwell, and encouraging them to talk about the symptoms, etc. Paediatric surgery is a super-specialisation, and needs extraordinary skill, as patients can be as young as newborns. A qualified doctor can work in state or private hospitals before setting up an independent clinic

Clock Work
A typical day for a middle/senior level paediatrician:
9am: Reach hospital/private clinic
9.30am: Start seeing patients
12.30pm: Lunch
1pm: See patients admitted to hospital or those coming to the clinic
4pm: Spend an hour going through latest research in medical journals
5pm: Do some tele-consultation
6pm: Take some emergency calls/go on visits
8pm: Leave for home

The payoff
In the government sector, the pay per month is about Rs 50,000 (beginner); Rs 60,000 (middle-level); and Rs 1 lakh (senior). In the private sector, the corresponding packages are Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000; Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh; and Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh respectively. In private practice, a doctor’s earning depends on his reputation

Love for kids
. Good listening skills
. Keen observation
. Ability to stay calm with kids
. Good communication skills

Getting there
Take science with biology in Class 12. After finishing school, take the written entrance test (state- or institute-specific) to enroll for MBBS at a medical college that is well-known for paediatrics. Certain medical colleges overseas are considered good if someone were to practice abroad. Becoming a paediatric surgeon means three years of extra training after becoming a general surgeon. This amounts to six years’ study after MBBS

Institutes and URLs
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi
. Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi
. Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi www.du.ac.in

Pros and cons
A very satisfying job
. Greater than usual risks if the patients are very young
. Parents may panic often, resulting in many emergency calls
. The salaries are good