Today, your outpatient clinic at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital is really busy and the first few patients have long-term conditions.
Here’s a child with cerebral palsy. You see her regularly. Today, she is having trouble swallowing and, after examining her throat, you assure her and her mother that it’s nothing more than a mild infection.
Next, you see a child with arthritis. His condition’s got much better since his last visit as he’s been following the exercises you recommended.
Most doctors need to be able to deal with emotional issues; this is especially true in paediatrics as it can be tough dealing with extremely sick children. Children are easily frightened, especially when unwell, so it is important to be non-threatening, happy and appreciative when examining children. You need to be friendly and a good communicator.
You’re likely to need at least six or seven high grade 9-6 (A*-B) GCSE grades (or the equivalent), preferably including a science subject, and be all set to take three A-Levels (or the equivalent) at college or 6th form.
You’ll need to apply for a General Medical Council (GMC) recognised degree in medicine at university. Getting three good A-Level grades (or equivalent level 3 qualifications) is essential, as medicine is a very competitive area. After university, you’ll need to do further general and specialist training to work as a paediatrician.