What they do

Paediatricians provide care for children from birth to early adulthood across the health of infants, children, and teenagers. They specialise in diagnosing and treating a range of ailments including day-to-day illnesses, minor injuries and infectious diseases.

A paediatrician's day may involve emergency work dealing with life threatening conditions such as cystic fibrosis to simply comforting worried parents who have brought their child to hospital about a minor ailment.

There are approximately 79 paediatricians currently practising in Western Australia. The majority are spread across the metropolitan area however there are several located in larger regional centres.

Working conditions

Most paediatricians practice in private or public settings or in a combination of the two. They usually work at least 50 hours a week with on-call responsibilities.

Tools and technologies

Paediatricians need to be familiar with a variety of medical tools including:

  • forceps and clamps
  • laryngoscopes (infant)
  • medical oxygen masks (neonate, infant, child)

Technologies include databases and medical software.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a paediatrician, you must first become a qualified medical practitioner and then specialise in paediatrics.

To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine.

Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To then specialise in paediatrics, doctors can apply to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) to undertake further training and ultimately receive fellowship.

To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for a minimum of two years (internship and residency).

Required registration and licensing

To work as a paediatrician in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Medical Board of Australia. You will also need to obtain a Working with Children Check (WWCC) from the Department of Communities and obtain a National Police Certificate.