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Training of pediatriciansEdit
The training of pediatricians varies considerably across the world.
- Main article: education
Like other medical practitioners, pediatricians begin their training with an entry-level medical education: a tertiary-level course, undertaken at a medical school attached to a university. Such a course leads to a medical degree.
Depending on jurisdiction and university, a medical degree course may be either undergraduate-entry or graduate-entry. The former commonly takes five or six years, and has been usual in the Commonwealth. Entrants to graduate-entry courses (as in the USA), usually lasting four or five years, have previously completed a three- or four-year university degree, commonly but by no means always in sciences. Medical graduates hold a degree specific to the country and university in and from which they graduated. This degree qualifies that medical practitioner to become licensed or registered under the laws of that particular country, and sometimes of several countries, subject to requirements for "internship" or "conditional registration".
Within the United States, the term physician also describes holders of the Doctor of Osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degree. For further information on osteopathic medicine, see the entry on the comparison of MD and DO in the US.
Pediatricians must undertake further training in their chosen field. This may take from three to six or more years, depending on jurisdiction and the degree of specialization. The post-graduate training for a primary care physician, including primary care pediatricians, is generally not as lengthy as for a hospital-based medical specialist.
In most jurisdictions, entry-level degrees are common to all branches of the medical profession, but in some jurisdictions, specialization in pediatrics may begin before completion of this degree. In some jurisdictions, pediatric training is begun immediately following completion of entry-level training. In other jurisdictions, junior medical doctors must undertake generalist (unstreamed) training for a number of years before commencing pediatric (or any other) specialization. Specialist training is often largely under the control of pediatric organizations (see below) rather than universities, with varying degrees of government input, depending on jurisdiction.