How To Be A Neonatologist

Neonatology is that specialized branch of medical science that takes care of newborn babies, sick babies and premature babies. This is a very specialized area and has many challenges.

So anyone who loves challenges has the mental setup to look after the wellbeing of the baby and who has the courage to take strong decisions can apply to become a neonatologist. 

This is an area not for the faint-hearted. The route to become one is long and arduous and usually takes around 18 years from High School to become a doctor in the neonatology unit of a hospital.

The Path To Become A Neonatologist Is Thus

High School – 4 years
College Degree – 4 years
Medical School – 4 years
Pediatric internship and residency – 3 years
Neonatology Fellowship –3 years

After you pass out from a medical school, you get a ‘M.D’ degree and this is not a passport to check the patients straightaway. As stated earlier the path to becoming a neonatologist is a long drawn affair. You must first become a General Pediatrician.

The training period is of three years and the program comprises of clinic time, inpatient departments and emergency situations. You also need to go to daily lectures and medical conferences and you also need to work night shifts even to in order to handle emergency pediatric situations in hospitals.

After you finish the pediatric training then you need additional 3 years of training under ‘neonatology fellowship’. During this time you need to take care of a lot of sick babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. You will also handle a lot of complex neonatal problems and diseases that will really test your medical knowledge and expertise. En route to becoming a neonatologist you need to pass a series of exams such as –

1)    National Medical examinations that you will appear for at medical school and internship. On passing out you will be allowed to practice medicine in your state.

2)   Pediatric board examinations that you will appear for in the year following the pediatric residency. On successfully completing the exams you become a pediatric specialist.

3)    The last exam is to taken during your neonatal fellowship. On passing you are certified as a specialist in neo – natal and peri – natal medical science.

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