6 Steps to Become a Paediatrician In Canada

Become a paediatrician with these simple steps and earn a good salary in Canada.

If you want to become a paediatrician in Canada, you must be ready to answer late hour calls. This is because you will be dealing with patients under the age of 21. This is not easy as it is more than just handing out lollipops to uneasy toddlers and answering the frantic, middle-of-the-night phone calls about a feverish child.

Moreover, to become a paediatrician, you will likely undergo more than 10 years of serious studies and training. Dealing with children’s health requires a lot of knowledge and skill. And you must have the knowledge to diagnose, treat and prevent the common diseases and conditions that affect younger patients.

Therefore, in this article, you will learn what it takes to become a paediatrician in Canada, plus other necessary information you will need to practice in Canada.

Who is a Paediatrician?

A paediatrician is a doctor whose specialization is providing medical care to younger patients. That is patients from birth until they reach adulthood which can be all the way until their 21st birthday.

In addition to not only diagnosing and treating the ailments that affect infants, babies, children, adolescents and young adults. they also assist their young patients in maintaining good health.

Duties of a Paediatrician

As a paediatrician in Canada, you will perform the following roles among others. They include:

  • Diagnose and treat illnesses typically associated with children.
  • Address other special medical needs of younger patients, such as genetic defects, malignancies, childhood infections, and injury.
  • Assess the proper treatment approaches that cater to the specific age of a patient.
  • Perform annual checkups, routine examinations, and immunizations.
  • Determine whether a child is experiencing normal growth and development.
  • Order appropriate tests, prescribe medications and perform medical procedures.
  • Provide medical care for children who are acutely or chronically ill.
  • Work towards reducing infant and child mortality.

Skills you need to be a paediatrician in Canada

To become a paediatrician in Canada, you will need the following skills:

Communication: Having excellent communication skills will help you to perform your duty as a paediatrician. This is because you communicate constantly with children, their parents, and other medical professionals. Your communication skills must include both verbal and written communication skills, especially when talking to children.

Organization: Dealing with children requires a lot of organisational skills. So, as a paediatrician, organization skills are important if you want to succeed in this field.

Problem-solving: Since taking quick decisions, especially in times of emergency is necessary for treating patients, you will need great problem-solving skills as a paediatrician.

Emotional intelligence: Children often don’t know how to describe their symptoms or feelings. Therefore, as a doctor, you must have strong emotional intelligence to understand what they feel. With emotional intelligence, you can understand patients’ body language and understand how they feel.

Specialities for paediatrician

If you want to pursue a fellowship to specialize in a sub-field of paediatrics, here are some specialities you can consider:

Paediatric cardiologist: In this field, you will monitor, diagnose, and treat heart conditions in children.

Emergency paediatrician: Ths type of paediatrician cares for children with serious injuries and health emergencies.

Adolescent paediatrician: It is your duty to focus on physical and mental health issues in teenagers and young adults.

Child abuse paediatrician: You will rehabilitate and care for children who have suffered abuse.

Developmental paediatricians: They diagnose and treat developmental and behavioural conditions, such as autism.

Pediatric neurologist: You will treat children’s nervous system. These are conditions that start in their brain, spine, nerves, or muscles

Why a paediatrician is a good career in Canada

Apart from being an in-demand job, there are many reasons why people want to become paediatricians in Canada. Among the reasons include:

Great job prospects

As a paediatrician in Canada, a lot of job prospects await you. You can start as a general medical doctor and later switch to become a paediatrician.

Or you can take all the necessary training and education to become a paediatrician. The good news is that whichever way you choose, there is a to for you in the field.

As a paediatrician, whether specialized or not, you will be employed by hospitals. You may even decide to practice as an independent paediatrician by opening your own hospital.

Good salary

As a paediatrician in Canada, you will earn a very good salary. As a beginner, you can earn as much as CAD 137,567 annually. And as you grow in experience, you will begin to earn more than that.

6 Steps to becoming a paediatrician in Canada

You will need both dedications, hard work and time to become a paediatrician in Canada. First of all, you will spend about 11 to 15 years of studies to enter an entry-level position as a paediatrician. However, the steps below will guide you on your journey to becoming a paediatrician.

#1. Earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree

First things first, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in a medical field before you dream of becoming a paediatrician. Moreover, you cannot enter a medical school in Canada until you get a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree first.

Your degree must be in a relevant field such as biology, chemistry, or child psychology. With this, you can meet certain prerequisites for every medical school. This also gives you the foundational knowledge you’ll need to succeed in your medical career.

For most medical schools in Canada, you must reach a certain GPA as well to enter them. The lowest GPA is usually 3.3 so it’s important you focus on maintaining excellent grades throughout your degree. For a bachelor’s degree, you will take about three to four years to complete. Though not compulsory, you can spend another two years on a master’s degree.

#2. Apply to medical school

Once you have completed your bachelor’s and master’s degree, you can enrol in a medical school. However, you will need the following requirements to apply:

  • Proficiency in English or French
  • A relevant bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.3 to 4.0
  • Completion of The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) with a high score
  • Completion of undergraduate course requirements such as biology, mathematics, biochemistry, and chemistry
  • Letters of recommendation from professors or employers
  • Success in an interview with the medical school’s admissions committee
  • Evidence of your initiatives, such as volunteer work or extracurricular activities

#3. Complete a medical school program

Once you have enrolled in a medical school, you’ll start learning about the fundamentals of medicine, such as anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, psychology, and much more. It is divided into two: your first two years will either be in the classrooms or laboratories.

This is to build up your technical knowledge and skills. Then, for the last last two years, you will have to complete a clerkship in a hospital or clinic under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.

The primary aim of your clerkship is to learn about the day-to-day management and treatment of patients. However, if you want to become a paediatrician in Canada, you can let your supervisor know. With this, your supervisor will give you more pediatric rotations to prepare for your residency.

#4. Complete a residency in paediatrics

The next step in your quest to become a paediatrician in Canada is to complete a residency in paediatrics. Thereafter, you can begin to practice unless you want to pursue a speciality. You can use the Canadian Resident Matching Service in your final year of medical school to search for hospitals.

After your search, you can submit a list with your preference of hospitals and specialities. You will get your placement for your residency position a few months before you graduate. The length of your residency can vary, but paediatrics is generally a four to five-year program.

The aim of the residency is to receive more core medical training. During this period, you will begin to perform medical procedures and tasks, such as drawing blood or starting an intravenous line under direct supervision from a medical professional.

As the years go by, you will become to perform medical procedures and tasks that are more difficult. This is to prepare you to perform them independently at the end of your residency.

#5. Pursue a speciality

There are many specialities in paediatrics such as neonatology or cardiology. So, you can complete a fellowship program in any of them. This usually takes two to three years, however, it is optional.

#6. Apply for provincial or territorial licensure

Once you have completed your residency, the next thing is to complete a certifying examination from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. With this, you can become a licensed medical practitioner in your province or territory.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do paediatricians need a licence from their province?

Once you complete your residency and a certifying examination from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, you have the right to practice in any province or territory in Canada.

How much do paediatricians earn in Canada?

An average paediatrician earns as much as CAD 234,677 as an annual salary. This can vary depending on your level of experience.

What is the minimum education requirement to become a paediatrician in Canada?

The basic requirement to become a paediatrician in Canada is a  bachelor of science in a relevant course. In addition, you must graduate from an approved medical school and specific speciality.

What are the specialities in paediatrics?

As a paediatrician, you can specialize in any of the subfields in the field. They include:

  • Paediatric cardiologist
  • Emergency paediatrician
  • Adolescent paediatrician
  • Child abuse paediatrician
  • Developmental paediatricians
  • Pediatric neurologist


In summary, if you dream of becoming a paediatrician, you must be ready to put in a lot of hard work and studies. However, if you read our guide very well and follow them, you won’t have a problem achieving your dream.