Pediatric Board Eligibility/Certification
The American Board of Pediatrics offers the General Pediatric Board Exam for first time certification every October usually before the AAP NCE. You have 7 years to pass the exam before needing to complete a residency remediation year to remain Board Eligible. This is a new requirement and each Specialty has its own unique requirements.
Information about the exam and costs can be found on the ABP website. Be sure to apply early before incurring the late fee. Exam is generally in mid-to-late October.
2018 cost: $2,265 plus requires Active State Medical License (Any State).
You can apply to take the board examination before you have an active state medical license, you just have to be in the process of applying for one. Once you obtain the active medical license, you must send proof to the Board. They require this proof for you to sit for the exam.
FMLA/Personal Leave/Egg Cryopreservation
According to the Family Medical Leave Act you are allowed up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth of a child. Many places will give 6-8 weeks and require you to use paid vacation time or leave without pay. Also state laws may vary. Look into your institution/practice's rules and regulations before signing the contract-even if you are not planning on have a child in the near future. Plans change quickly!
Some choose to have a child during their first year out of residency. Couple and individual therapy is something that is too often underutilized in our profession. Everyone could benefit from having a therapist and what is shared is privileged (cannot be used against you in the court of law).
Egg Cryopreservation is recommended before the age of 38 if you wish to have children, but just not yet. Ideally, however, the earlier the eggs are frozen -- the better! New technology has now allowed for "flash freezing" which is able to better preserve the integrity of the egg walls. Costs approximately US $12-15K and about $500/year for storage.
Consider taking a leave. Leave time may be better for both you and your patients/colleagues.
Part-Time, Locum Tenens, NGO Work
These work arrangements provide a great option to travel within the US and internationally. If you are single, embrace the freedom and know that you are making a difference! There are many opportunities in underserved areas within the U.S, U.S. Territories, Indian Health Services, with the U.S. military, and in developing countries. Most individuals who have a challenging time finding international opportunities are not looking in the right places. You will NOT be spoon-fed in these settings; rather you will be expected to lead. Quite a change from residency. Embrace the opportunity & remember that you did learn something in residency! Be humble and embrace the different cultures.
Maintenance of Certification
The American Board of Pediatrics, like most other specialties, has transitioned over the years from a simple recertification test to a more comprehensive approach to maintain its board certification. The overall goal is to promote lifelong learning and self-assessment to help pediatricians maintain a solid knowledge base and clinical skills. They've worked to incorporate the six core competencies stressed in residency to various activities included in the four parts of MOC. Much of the tasks included in the four parts of MOC overlap with already established requirements in a pediatrician's professional life: maintaining a license, CME, PREP questions, QI projects, etc.
Many free and inexpensive Part 2 and Part 4 activities have been developed. So many resources are available to find ABP approved activities. The AAP is an excellent resource both at the national and state level to meet these requirements and PediaLink serves as a central location for all of your ongoing medical education and MOC. It is both a place to find educational opportunities as well as record them. There you'll find AAP sponsored Part 2 (e.g. PREP) and Part 4 activities (e.g. EQIPP, QUIIN, CQN). It is important to log in to your ABP portfolio where you will get up-to-date statuses for all four MOC parts. Additionally, you will find all the approved activities, costs, and deadlines for your recertification cycle.
Try to at least complete 1-2 years at the same position your first year out from residency. This is not always possible but do try to stick to at least 9 months before giving your 3 months' notice. You are a hot commodity as a Board Eligible/Certified Pediatrician who has finished 3 years of residency in the United States of America.
Any stipend you have for professional expenses from your job is not included in your gross income for tax purposes and is not taxable. Additionally, any professional expenses you incur that are not reimbursed via a stipend can be itemized.
Itemizing deductions (1040 Schedule A) is only useful if you will exceed the standard deduction. Potential itemized deductions (see various IRS rules):
Job seeking costs such as travel to interviews (search "job search tax deductible IRS" to find more details)
Moving expenses are deductible as long as they meet a few rules. Form 3903 will also have to be completed.
Professional expenses not reimbursed. [does the lawyer fee for having a contract reviewed count??]
Mileage for commute between clinics or nursery/hospital within the same day. Normal commuting from home to work does not qualify for this deduction.
Student loan interest is deductible but begins to phase out as your income increases.