A career in academic pediatrics combines an emphasis in clinical work, research, teaching, advocacy, and administrative leadership. In these settings, pediatricians may be able to emphasize any or a combination of those elements. The cornerstone of all academic pediatrics is scholarship--generating, disseminating, interpreting, and implementing knowledge that advances pediatric care and improves the health and safety of children. One of the best things about academic pediatrics is that it is about personal and professional evolution. While finding the right balance between programmatic focus, institutional needs, and personal interests, talents, and skills can be challenging, it is also an opportunity for growth. Academic pediatrics affords many points of decision-making and priority-setting. It is possible to regroup five or ten years after joining and choose a new career path.