Paediatricians are medical specialists concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and overall care of children. This is a demanding yet rewarding area of medicine, in which you really feel that you are making a difference to the future of patients. Such a specialist area is concerned with conditions of a serious nature, such as cancer, epilepsy and disability. It is the job of such specialists to do their best to help children live as normal a life as possible.

A paediatrician would need to be able to work as an individual and as part of a broad medical team of specialists. Once you have founded a career in paediatrics there will be the opportunity to specialise in one particular segment of this discipline, such as cancer treatment or disability. Conditions you would need to deal with on a daily basis include cerebral palsy, arthritis and epilepsy. You will need to ensure you maintain a friendly manner with patients and that you work hard to make a difference to their lives.

Work activities

Typical work activities a paediatrician would need to carry out include the following:

  • Either work in a general hospital, specialist clinic or for a private organisation.
  • You will deal with emotionally demanding matters on a daily basis and will need to be made of stern stuff.
  • You will need to be non-threatening and friendly when diagnosing, treating and caring for children.
  • You will need to ensure you place the child at ease and take into consideration their family members.
  • Work with children over a long period of time in order to monitor their condition.
  • You will work with people from childhood through to their early teens.
  • You can specialise in a particular disease or remain working in a general manner.
  • A paediatrician would need to have varied knowledge and understanding of medicine in order to diagnose and treat various conditions.

Essential skills

  • Attention to detail.
  • A friendly and approachable manner.
  • Able to work as part of a medical team and as an individual.
  • Able to consider the feelings of the child and their family members.
  • Able to put the patient at ease.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Strive to improve your skills and ability.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Leadership qualities.
  • Able to deal with sensitive and emotional topics.
  • Clinical thinking.
  • Real desire to make a difference to the future of your patients.