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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pediatrics in Review

I had a wonderful time on my pediatrics rotation. I was able to learn and do so much. I have always been fond of working with children and I had wondered if I could ever do Pediatrics as a career. This rotation was really a fun experience and a good opportunity to see if I could see myself doing Pediatrics in the future.

One of the awesome things about the clinic I worked in was that I became comfortable working with newborn babies all the way up to 18 year olds. I would not say that I have a favorite age group; I like the differences between all ages. The first week while I was doing mostly shadowing, I was reluctant to touch and handle the newborns. However, by the end of the rotation I was able to elicit all the reflexes and handle the babies confidently with ease. The toddler age range was fun because they were inquisitive and so cute but the challenge with a toddler was the physical exam. Getting a throat culture on a screaming 2-3 year old is not easy! The first child I helped hold for an ear irrigation was horrible. Even though he hugged us on the way out when we gave him his ring pop I thought I was going to have nightmares of screaming children. However, by the end of the rotation, I think I tuned out the crying! If I had to pick an age group that is my favorite it may have to be the 8 year olds. They are super historians, and they don’t mind telling you about their bowel movements. You just have to have a good ear for confabulation! I had my share of teenage patients too. My strategy there was appeal to their reason and when all else fails appeal to their sense of what’s cool.

I had a lot of great learning experiences so it is hard to try and think of a couple that stand out for this essay. One of my proudest moments was when I identified my first ear infection. One of my favorite opportunities I was given was to do a circumcision. One of my most memorable patients was a boy with an incurable disease whom we were just managing symptoms. One of my favorite duties was reassuring parents that their child’s poop, feeding, eyes, weight, penis were all normal or variations of normal and that they were doing a good job. It was a fun job. Never being a parent myself, I couldn’t empathize with the mothers of three who came in looking like pack mules with all their diaper bag paraphernalia, baby powder on their pants and children who could hardly stay in the patient room but I enjoyed helping them out by telling them what to do about a sick kid, or that their child’s ear infection was resolving. I enjoyed pediatrics. It was a wonderful rotation.

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