The career opportunities for those in the field of pediatric medical associates vary greatly and with an undergraduate degree that can take four years to complete it is important to understand that there is a much more diverse range of choices available than one might imagine. In order to find the most fulfilling medical profession available one must first become an educated and skilled practitioner in addition to having the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with other professionals.
In many areas of medicine, such as the pediatric field where a nurse-midwife relationship is very important, there is an option for an additional year of schooling before becoming a doctor of medicine. The coursework in these programs will not only prepare a candidate for the requirements of a doctor of medicine, but also will give them a foundation in nursing that they can build on throughout their careers. These programs are offered at the associate level by the American College of Pediatricians or the International Society of Pediatric Physicians (ISPP).
In order to become a doctor of medicine one must be certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in addition to being a registered nurse. This type of certification is earned by having a certain amount of educational coursework, which must be completed in one year at an accredited institution of higher learning. It is also important to have completed a one year internship at an approved facility as well as pass the written exam for the ABMS exam.
A graduate program in the field of pediatric medical associates can begin upon graduation with an emphasis on education. Some of the subjects covered include anatomy, physiology and pathology, medical ethics, patient care, and legal issues related to health care. There are also courses focusing on communication skills as well as courses that deal with legal issues involving health care.
Once medical practitioners have completed their training and passed the exams required by the ABMS, they are then eligible to work in a hospital or clinics where children are treated. If they do not already have an active practice in this field, they may wish to open up their own facility as this can provide a source of supplemental income. They will be responsible for recruiting and hiring staff and for other activities such . . . . . . as answering the phone, scheduling appointments, scheduling procedures, and preparing patients for surgery.
With the demand for pediatric medical associates continuing to increase, the field is also booming in many other fields. Many nurses who want to expand their horizons into this growing field can complete additional studies at a university to help prepare them for careers in family practice, child and adolescent mental health, as well as addiction treatment centers or other areas of psychology.