Medical Specialty

How Competitive is a Pediatrics Residency?

You want to become a pediatrician? Here's what it takes to match into residency.

If you want a career as a pediatrician, here is how competitive the medical specialty is to match into a pediatrics residency. Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that involves the medical care of diseases. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends people be under pediatric care through the age of 21.

Statistics on the Pediatrics Match

In 2020, pediatrics had a total of 3,102 applicants and 2,956 spots. This equates to 1.05 applicants per position. Of the 1,725 U.S. MD seniors who applied, 31 did not match.

Total Positions Total Number of Applicants Number of Applicants per Position
2,956 3,102 1.05

Osteopathic (DO) Students Matching into Pediatrics

In 2020, the total number of DO Senior Applicants was 501. Of those, 480 matched, for a 95.81% match percentage. This makes pediatrics a Very Friendly field for osteopathic students.

Total DO Applicants Matched DO Applicants DO Match Percentage
501 480 95.81%

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) Matching into Pediatrics

Because there are only 0.59 U.S. MD applicants per 1 program spot, pediatrics is considered to be Very Friendly for IMGs students.

Honors, Research and Awards for Pediatrics Residency Candidates

The average matched U.S. applicant had 8.8 volunteer experiences and 3.3 work experiences. They had 2.9 research experiences and 4.9 abstracts, presentations and publications. That makes this specialty on where the number of publications needed is Low.

Research Experiences Abstracts, Presentations and Publications Work Experiences Volunteer Experiences
2.9 4.9 3.3 8.8

Average Step 1 and Step 2 Scores for Pediatrics

The mean U.S. Step 1 score for matched medical students in pediatrics was 228. The mean USMLE Step 2 CK score was 245.

Overall Competitiveness of Pediatrics Residency and Chances of Matching

The overall competitiveness level of pediatrics is Low for a U.S. senior. With a Step 1 score of 200, the probability of matching is 95%. With a Step 1 score of >240, the probability is 100%.

How long is a residency in pediatrics? What is the lifestyle like for a pediatrics resident?

Compared to other residencies, pediatrics has a Short training length. As far as lifestyle, pediatricians generally have a Low stress lifestyle. Of course, lifestyle is very subjective and if you love what you do, it does not matter! And if you hate what you do, it can still be rough no matter what. In medicine, you should find the specialty that makes you enjoy your everyday interactions with patients, staff and colleagues.

What is the average salary for a pediatrician?

The average salary post-graduation from a pediatrics residency is $232,000, provided one does not go on to sub-specialty training which can change the salary substantially. Academic versus private practice as well as location also play a large role in physician compensation.

What are fellowships one can do from a pediatrics residency?

Following the successful completion of general pediatrics residency, some physicians may choose to continue their graduate medical education with subspecialty training. Board-certified subspecialists complete additional training and qualifying examinations beyond those required for board certification in pediatrics. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics certifies the following fellowships:

      • Adolescent Medicine

What are the best pediatrics residencies in the country?

The best residency for pediatrics, or any specialty, is very driven by personal preference and situation. How close you are to family, loved ones, the type of training environment, the opportunities available are all things to take into consideration above and beyond name recognition of a program. However, there are some highly regarded names in the world of pediatrics including:

    • Boston Children’s Hospital
    • Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania
    • Stanford
    • UCLA
    • University of Cincinnati

Much of the data above is available from the AAMC Charting the Outcomes report.

Explore Other Specialties:

SpecialtyAverage Step 1 Score (Matched)Average Step 2 Score (Matched)
Anesthesiology234246
Child Neurology233246
Dermatology248256
Diagnostic Radiology241249
Emergency Medicine233247
Family Medicine221238
General Surgery237249
Internal Medicine235248
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics236250
Interventional Radiology247255
Neurological Surgery248252
Neurology232245
Obstetrics and Gynecology232248
Orthopaedic Surgery248255
Otolaryngology248256
Pathology233242
Pediatrics228245
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation228241
Plastic Surgery249256
Psychiatry227241
Radiation Oncology243250
Vascular Surgery239247
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