In 2012, 30,560 pediatricians were working in the U. S.

The field of pediatrics considers all aspects of a child’s life: physical, mental, social and emotional. Pediatricians work to maintain children’s health as well as diagnose problems. These doctors must be aware of a wide range of environmental influences. The United States has many universities with high quality pediatrics programs. When determining rankings for medical schools, the opinions of deans and senior faculty from these institutions is an effective rating system. The leading schools have strong three-year residency programs, because this is when prospective pediatricians receive specific training in the field.

University of Pennsylvania

The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is tops in its field. During its three-year program, residents face a wide range of training situations, including newborn intensive care, emergency care, adolescent inpatient treatment, oncology and child advocacy. Residents are also offered six electives so they can pursue areas of interest. Some residents extend their stay at the university in order to specialize in one of three combined programs that connects pediatrics with genetics, internal medicine or neurology.

Harvard University

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard University's combined MGH Medicine and Pediatrics program is highly-ranked. Residents alternate between working at Massachusetts General Hospital and MassGeneral Hospital for Children, where they care for patients, study acute illness and pursue electives. Since the program emphasizes outpatient care, residents spend a great deal of time training in local settings, including small community hospitals and health clinics. Through this variety of experiences, residents understand their career options.

University of Cincinnati

In the midwest, Ohio's University of Cincinnati has a top-rated combined internal medicine and pediatrics program. Residents' schedules change every four months in order to provide meaningful experiences in many areas of pediatrics. Residents begin each of their three years in internal medicine to develop expertise in diagnosis. A significant amount of training is devoted to outpatient treatment, including rural and adolescent medicine. In response to student interest, pediatric emergency treatment is highlighted and cases run the gamut from from simple injuries to trauma patients.

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland, is home to another institution with a fine pediatrics program: Johns Hopkins University. Residents learn about the field and provide care in numerous settings, including community clinics, hospitals and neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. In order to respond to patient needs, residents also learn interpersonal skills, such as handling patient death, advocating for children and discussing high-risk behaviors with adolescents.

University of Colorado

Moving west, the University of Colorado in Aurora has a highly-regarded pediatrics program that offers experience in several urban hospitals and clinics. Here residents gain experience with inpatient settings. The program also includes rural and mountain medical facilities for outpatient care. Residents have the opportunity to select as many as 10 electives, primarily in the final year.