Pediatricians are some of the happiest doctors, according to a recent report from MedScape. The relatively good quality of life enjoyed by pediatricians is attractive for students beginning a career in medicine. Fortunately, every region of the United States boasts some top ranked medical schools that train future pediatricians.

East Coast

New England and the east coast have no shortage of excellent medical schools. The University of Pennsylvania's Perelman Medical School in Philadelphia consistently earns the highest ranking on "U.S. News World Report," which rates the quality of medical programs based on their research, selectivity, faculty resources and peer reviews. UPenn pediatrics students and residents train with pediatrics professors at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, which was rated by "Parents Magazine" to be the best children's hospital in the nation. Also ranked highly are the pediatrics programs at Harvard University in Massachusetts and Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.

West Coast

Top-ranked pediatric programs on the West Coast include the University of California San Francisco, Stanford University and the University of Washington. At UCSF, pediatrics students train with medical professors at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and have the opportunity to treat patients at a general hospital and HMO hospital. Stanford University boasts many research opportunities for medical students and has the Autism and Developmental Disorders Clinic that trains pediatric psychiatrists. The University of Washington in Seattle works with Seattle Children's Hospital to prepare students for primary care and specialty pediatrics. Residents and fellows can choose from thirteen specialties, including pediatric cardiology and pediatric emergency medicine.


Medical schools at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill offer top-ranked pediatrics programs in the South. Baylor offers pediatrics students the opportunity to train in primary care positions and in a hospital environment at Texas Children's Hospital. Baylor's pediatrics program is also rated first for funding from the National Institutes of Health. The UNC pediatrics program trains medical students in conjunction with North Carolina Children's Hospital, and members of its faculty is conducting cutting-edge research in the area of infant genetic sequencing.


Two highly-ranked pediatric programs in the Midwest include the medical schools at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and the University of Cincinnati. Washington University trains students in conjunction with staff at St. Louis Children's Hospital and offers pediatric residents the opportunity to specialize in areas like adolescent medicine and infectious diseases. The medical-pediatrics program at University of Cincinnati trains students with the Children's Hospital of Cincinnati, which is the only in-patient children's treatment facility in the region. Students at UC begin their training in internal medicine and progress to pediatrics later.

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