Some pediatrician complete additional training to obtain a certification in a specific field. One of these fields is endocrinology, where specialized pediatricians diagnose and treat endocrine disorders in children and teens. Here is what you need to know about this career option.
Endocrinologists specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders linked to the hormonal system. A pediatric endocrinologist is a highly-specialized professional who treats hormonal disorders that affect children and teens. These specialized physicians typically study for 14 years before becoming licensed professionals and earn high salaries.
What Is The Average Salary Of A Pediatric Endocrinologist?
The average yearly salary for a physician with a specialty in endocrinology is $217,610. A pediatrician’s yearly salary is $206,961 a year on average, while some sources list the average salary of a pediatric endocrinologist as $157,139 a year.
Other sources list this average salary as being $255,000 a year and list $204,000 a year as a low salary for this profession, while $311,000 a year is the salary of the highest-earning professionals in this field.
Some sources list the average salary of an endocrinologist as $195,909 a year and $181,614 a year for pediatricians.
It’s also important to keep in mind that these specialized physicians need to complete a fellowship before they can become licensed. The average salary during a fellowship program ranges from $50,000 to $60,000.
The average salary of a specialized endocrinologist varies from one employer to another. Here are a few examples of salaries:
- A specialized endocrinologist working at the University of Kansas Medical Center earns between $167,000 and $181,000 a year.
- The Carilion Clinic offers salaries ranging from $189,000 to $207,000 a year for these positions.
- A professional working at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital earns between $149,000 and $162,000 a year.
The specialized endocrinologists working in university hospitals and medical centers are likely to have additional responsibilities, such as teaching and supervising the students who are completing their fellowship at the university hospital.
These professionals might also play an important role in research programs to better understand and cure endocrine conditions that affect children and teens.
What Does A Pediatric Endocrinologist Do?
These specialists treat children and teens who suffer from health problems that affect their endocrine system. The endocrine system includes several glands such as the thyroid and pituitary glands that produce hormones.
There is a wide range of health conditions that affect the endocrine system, including diabetes, adrenal disease, or thyroid diseases. Diabetes is another common condition that these specialized endocrinologists encounter. Specialized endocrinologists also treat teens who suffer from early or delayed puberty.
The role of these professionals is to properly diagnose children and teens with endocrine disorders and develop a treatment plan. A lot of these diseases don’t have a cure but require the patient to follow a detailed treatment plan to manage their symptoms. Endocrinologists typically treat patients in the long-term and monitor how a patient’s symptoms progress.
Some conditions such as thyroid dysfunction can be treated with medication, and some patients require surgery if there are issues with some of the glands that make up the endocrine system. The treatment options are varied and depend on the symptoms of each patient, which is why endocrinologists are highly-specialized professionals who are familiar with a wide range of treatment options.
Why Do Pediatric Endocrinologists Need Specialized Training?
An endocrinologist specialized in treating conditions that affect the endocrine system. However, the health problems that affect the endocrine system of an adult tend to be very different from the conditions that children and teens can develop.
Children and teens are still growing and hormones play an important part in growth and puberty. A specialized pediatrician is qualified to diagnose and treat these conditions while an endocrinologist might lack experience with the conditions that typically affect children and teens or with the symptoms that young patients typically exhibit.
A specialized pediatrician would also follow up with children who developed conditions related to the endocrine system to make sure they grow up to become healthy adults.
For instance, a specialized pediatrician would follow up with children who survived thyroid cancer or who experienced slow growth at a young age. Childhood obesity is another condition that would require a long-term treatment plan.
Where Do Pediatric Endocrinologists Work?
These specialized pediatricians work in a team setting. Health conditions that affect the endocrine system usually cause a wide range of symptoms that are treated by a team of professionals with different areas of expertise.
For instance, a young patient who is suffering from childhood obesity would meet with a specialized pediatrician and work with a nutritionist. A child with an endocrine disorder might require surgery to remove or treat glands that aren’t functioning properly. In this scenario, a specialized pediatrician would work closely with a surgeon.
These pediatricians also work with professionals who specialize in radiology and other imaging techniques to properly diagnose endocrine disorders.
A lot of specialized pediatricians work in children’s hospitals. Some large hospitals and medical centers have a department that treats endocrine conditions in children and teens. However, this isn’t a specialty you will find in small clinics and hospitals.
In most cases, young patients are referred to a specialist who works at a nearby children’s hospital if their physician or another healthcare professional suspects that they are suffering from an endocrine disorder.
How To Become A Pediatric Endocrinologist
You will need to complete a total of 14 years of studying and training to become a pediatric endocrinologist.
The first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in any field that is related to medicine or science. You can study a wide range of subjects during your bachelor’s degree as long as you meet requirements to be accepted into medical school.
Once you graduate from your bachelor’s program, you should apply to medical school and study for four years. Some medical schools require you to have completed specific coursework in biology, physics, chemistry, sociology, and other areas.
You will also need an excellent GPA and solid MCAT scores. Some medical schools focus on MCAT scores rather than requiring you to complete specific coursework before being admitted, which is why you need to research different schools and find out about their unique requirements.
You should also look into participating in research projects, volunteering, and shadowing experiences. If you are interested in becoming a pediatrician or specialized in endocrinology, these early experiences will help you get into medical school and secure a fellowship in the area you are interested in.
Once you have completed four years of medical school, you will need to complete a three-year residency in a pediatric department at a clinic or hospital. You can choose to become licensed and practice as a pediatrician at this point.
If you want to become a specialized pediatrician who treats endocrine conditions, you will need to complete a second fellowship or residency program. You need to complete your second fellowship in a pediatric endocrinology department, and this program should last at least three years.
You can then obtain a specialized license through the American Board of Pediatrics. You will need to pass an exam and demonstrate that you have gained sufficient experience and knowledge in your area of expertise.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to take a break of more than one year when completing your fellowship since you might miss out on significant changes that happen in your field.
You will have to study and work for a minimum of 14 years to become a specialized endocrinologist. You will also need to complete continuing education requirements throughout your career to keep up with the latest change and maintain your license.
Other Similar Careers To Consider
You can become a pediatrician by earning a bachelor’s degree and completing four years of medical school. You will then have to complete a three-year residency in a pediatrics department or similar setting.
You can then choose to become certified and practice as a pediatrician or look into specializing in different areas.
These areas include developmental issues, cardiology, dermatology, or anesthesiology just to mention a few. These are different specialties you would typically find at a children’s hospital. You would typically need to complete a three-year fellowship in any of these areas before you can become certified.
Becoming a pediatrician means you should be able to find work in a wider range of settings. Most hospitals and clinics have pediatricians on their teams while specialized pediatricians tend to only work in children’s hospitals. However, your salary will be higher if you obtain a specialty.
If you are looking for a career option that doesn’t require 14 years of studying and work experience, becoming a pediatric nurse could be interesting. You can expect to earn between $68,000 and $107,000 a year and can specialize in endocrinology.
You will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree to become a Registered Nurse and apply to a Master of Science in Nursing program with specialized coursework in pediatric settings.
Becoming a specialized pediatrician takes years but this is a very rewarding career. Keep in mind that it is best to gain experience in the endocrinology field as early as possible, for instance, by completing a shadowing program or by volunteering at a children’s hospital.