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There are four necessary steps to earn a pediatric critical care fellowship: post-secondary education, medical school, residency, and completion of a fellowship. All of these stages require an intense amount of effort and study in order to succeed. Once a residency is completed, it is possible to apply for a pediatric critical care fellowship at a hospital. Completion of the fellowship occurs when a physician meets the criteria outlined by the hospital for finishing the curriculum.
An undergraduate degree that includes prerequisites in the sciences and mathematics is needed to apply to medical school. Majoring in science is not absolutely necessary, but you still need to complete prerequisites in addition to your degree in another subject. Once the degree is almost complete, you can begin the medical school application process, which requires taking an examination for acceptance and sending in a completed application. Medical school takes four years to complete, at which time you can begin to apply to residency programs.
Residency programs are located in hospitals and take anywhere from one to five years to complete, depending on the area of specialty that the physician is pursuing. A physician interested in pursuing a pediatric critical care fellowship should apply to residencies in pediatric medicine, which generally last for two to three years. This will provide a broader view of pediatric medicine and give the physician many hours of experience working with patients. Residencies are considered difficult because of the long hours required, so you should expect to spend a lot of time at a hospital during this part of your education.
Upon completion of the residency, you can apply to pediatric critical care fellowships. Once accepted into a program, expect to spend at least three years in intense training. A pediatric critical care fellowship involves working directly with patients, supervising residents and interns, and continuing your education. Courses, lectures, and seminars are a part of the curriculum during a pediatric critical care fellowship.
The fellowship generally lasts for three to four years and teaches physicians how to manage critically ill children in an intensive care unit of a hospital. Once the fellowship is completed, as a specialized physician, you can begin to work regularly in pediatric critical care. In most places, licensure is necessary for this type of work, but you should check with your local government's health department to find out specifics, as this varies from place to place.