Whether you apply for a place at a med school, or for a residency program, or even for a job of a pediatrician with some clinic or some hospital for children, you can be sure about one things: The interviewers will inquire about your career choice. They will ask you other questions as well, which may differ from one interview to another, but this particular question you will rarely avoid. What should you focus on while explaining your career choice? And what do they want to hear from you, or read on the pages of your essay? We will try to find the answers on the following lines.

Let’s start with 7 sample answers to the question. I tried to include on my list both answers for students (applying at med school), fresh med school graduates (trying to get an internship or residency), and also for job applicants (applying for a pediatrician position with some healthcare institution). Do not forget to read also my notes below the answers, to understand some important nuances of a convincing explanation of your career choice.


7 sample answers to “Why do you want to be a pediatrician?” (interview or essay)

  1.  I just love to be around children. Speaking from experience, it seems I have a good understanding for their emotional world, and can connect with them on a rather personal level, which will help me a lot in my work of a pediatrician. What it more, I really enjoy their company, and I honestly believe that we should do work we enjoy doing. That’s why I want to work in pediatrics, and did not opt for other specialization in healthcare.
  2. Speaking honestly, I am worried about the terrible health condition of our young population. So many children suffer from the diseases of civilization, so many of them are obese, and, worst of all, many children frequent the offices of psychologists and psychiatrists, which is really a tragedy in my view. I want to change something on this negative trend, at least in my local community. And I believe that as a pediatrician, you actually have a chance to improve a lot of things in child’s life. It isn’t only about medication, but also about educating them and their parents, on topics such as healthy diet and lifestyle, prevention of diseases, and so on. It is something I would like to focus on in my medical practice, and I sincerely believe that I can make a positive difference in lives of many children.
  3. To be honest, I haven’t decided yet about my specialization. I wrote on my essay that I dream of working with children once I earn my degree, and I still have this dream, because I feel that I can communicate better with children then with adults, especially children younger than six. Having said that, I am just starting my studies. Without a doubt I will meet many interesting people at med school, from both ranks of students and teachers. We’ll have interesting discussions over the years, and I may end up pursuing other field after my graduation. We will see what happens, but I am extremely excited about the journey ahead of me.
  4. I’ve considered various paths while still studying at med school. Considering my strengths, however, as well as my weaknesses, I came to a conclusion that a job of a pediatrician is the best match to my personality, strengths, and expectations. I was lucky enough to get clinical practice in different wards of the hospital, and I shadowed various medical professionals during their typical day at work. It helped me to make the decision, and I am convinced that I want to work as a pediatrician for decades to come. It would be a dream come true to get this job with your clinic.
  5. To be honest, we have to look back to my childhood to find the roots of my career choice. I have had my share of medical issues over the years, especially at elementary school. Problems with breathing, allergies, even some mental issues. And I was extremely fortunate to visit the doctors I did visit. They not only helped me to treat some of the issues I experienced, and even cure my mental problems. They also treated me nicely, encouraged me to fight for a better future, and overall they had a positive impact on my life. My personal experience with pediatric care motivated me to pursue a career of a pediatrician. I also want to make such a positive difference in lives of children, following my role models.
  6. My career counselor recommended me this choice. To be honest–and I do not want to sound cocky–with my GPA and abilities I could pursue any career path. And I also find many areas interesting, both within healthcare and outside of it. Therefor I wasn’t really sure what to do with my life, and decided to contact a career counselor. She let me complete some personality tests, and asked me a lot of questions. We discussed my expectations on my future, my dreams and also my worries. After several sessions spent together, we came to a conclusion that a career of a pediatrician is the best path for me to follow, considering my strengths, personality, and expectations I have on life. After everything we’ve done together with her, I agree 100% with her opinion. And that’s why I am here today with you…
  7. My dream is to open a practice in my native country, Sudan. I do not know how much you know about the place, but people experience a lot of issues, and healthcare for children is almost non-existent in many areas. Sure enough, United Nations and other organizations have their volunteers present, but most of the time they are locked in their luxury compounds, earning over ten thousand dollars a month for hanging around the pool and drinking. They are afraid of the threats that realistically exist in the streets of Khartoum. But I want to change something in my native country. If nothing more, I can open my practice and at least help children from local community. And who knows, maybe I can even start some movement, and help to bring more medical graduates from Sudan back to their native country… This is my dream, and I will do everything in my capabilities to make it happen.

* Special Tip: We have an excellent eBook online, called Pediatric Nurse Interview Guide. Check it out for brilliant answers to all questions you may face in your job interview in the field of Pediatrics. Thank you!


Try to give them a clear and specific reason

Most interviewees will simply say that they love children, or want to help children. Why it isn’t a bad answer, it is something that’s obvious for the admission committee members at schools, and for the hiring managers at hospitals. Nobody would want to work as a pediatrician if they did not like children.

That’s why it is crucial to elaborate on your answer. Try to explain them your vision of the future–what you imagine doing, what impact you want to have, where you want to work. Another option is talking about particular strengths and personality traits that make from you a great applicant for the position.

You can even talk about a life-changing experience you had with a pediatrician as a child, an experience which motivated you to pursue your career in this field. You will find an example of each of these on my list of sample answers.

Do not forget on non-verbal communication

When people speak about their dreams and their future, it is impossible to verify the authenticity of their claims…. When you have some working experience and talk about something from your past, the interviewers can always call your former employer, teacher, or any other relevant person, and verify whether you told them the truth in the interviews, or your speech was just smoke and mirrors. But that’s not the case when it comes to your future ambitions. How do they consider the authenticity of your words then?

They look at your non-verbal communication. Now, it doesn’t mean that they observe the movement of your eyes and whether you touch your neck or ear, or shuffle your feet below the table, while talking about your career choice. That’s not the case.

But they definitely observe whether you speak with enthusiasm about your future career of a pediatrician, if there’s some spark in your eye and energy in your voice. Keep it on you mind. Your verbal and non-verbal communication has to correspond, at least if you want them to believe you…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky questions you may face in your interview:

Matthew Chulaw
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