Monday, September 6, 2010

A Day in the Life: Pediatrician Edition.

I spent the day yesterday shadowing our fabulous pediatrician. Beforehand, I worried that it might be a little awkward, following someone around all day without contributing anything, but it turned out to be a really enjoyable experience! I'm looking forward to doing it again next month.

We saw a lot of kids, of who were there for well-checks, URIs, EIs, rechecks, and one patient who came in for a rule-out of a fairly rare who loved the doctor, hated the doctor, and were ambivalent about the doctor...and they were all adorable. I got a lot of smiles from all of those cuties. It was a busy day, though not unpleasantly so. It was a nice pace. We spent roughly 10 minutes (my guesstimation, I didn't pay attention to the actual time) with each patient which seemed the perfect amount of time, and from 9:30am until about 1:30pm there were not any lulls. Then we went to lunch, visited a baby in the NICU at the hospital, and came back to clinic and saw a few more patients before I morphed back into a parent when BubTar arrived for his 3pm appointment.

Things I learned, in no particular order:

1. I am not used to wearing heels all day. Ha! Obviously, I was on my feet all day and we did a lot of walking and took the stairs quite a bit. It didn't bother me a bit until I was OFF of my feet for a while...then, OUCH. Gotta work on that. ;)

2. Primary-care pediatrics is a lot of repetition. We saw many kiddos that were there for the same well-check, and so you basically repeat the same thing over and over. It isn't a BAD thing, just something that hadn't really occurred to me previously.

3. 4 months old infants are particularly adorable patients.

4. I need to learn more Spanish and get brave enough to utilize what I already know.

5. I can see myself being happy with this sort of career.

6. (which is not specifically related to yesterday) I can survive a week with roughly 3 hours of frequently interrupted a sleep per night, two sick kids, feeling mildly under the weather myself, while keeping up with my coursework and responsibilities, and still manage to enjoy myself.

Cross-posted at The Journey.


  1. ooh loved this post. Yes pediatric is an interesting course, considering specializing in it.

  2. Why do you think I have 3 pairs of Danskos? :) Yes, there is a lot of repetition in well child care. However, things change along the course of a child's life so it's not completely repetitive. I don't give the same guidance to the parents of a 17-year-old that I do to a 4-month-old. Also, I often have to change what I say to different families of 17-year-olds. One may be well, doing great in school and headed to college, while the other has complex medical problems and does work at a 3rd grade level.

    I love and look forward to every challenge behind the exam room door. I can honestly say I look forward to going to work every day because I love my job.

    Good luck!

  3. I second the Dansko recommendation. My feet never hurt at the end of a day in them.

  4. And the kids ask you the oddest things. When I want to make absolutely sure they feel comfortable asking me anything (puberty-related, about meds, whatever), I get a lot of "whatever" questions like,

    "Why do you always where those shoes?" (my comfy clogs)

    or "What is that red spot on your arm?"

    No visit is repetitive when you have a new personality and growing changing developing child on the other end of your Q&A. Good luck and keep enjoying!!!

  5. I agree, the appointments and the kiddos were not repetitive. We saw a lot of variety and each kiddo (even with in the same age-range) was a little different. I enjoyed all of it, in fact my favorite group of patients happened to all be there for the same well-check and was the highest concentration of the day! One of the things that draws me to primary care peds is getting to watch the same group of kids grow and change. As a parent, though, it had never occurred to me that the pediatrician had probably given the same sort of well-check spiel half a dozen times on any given day that my kids were there for one.

  6. Yes, I think the most satisfying part of being a pediatrician is watching these kids grow. Most of these kids are normal, and the well child checks are pretty routine, and those that are not can be frustrating because they take up so much extra time and most parents are going to do what they want anyway. But it's amazing being a part of kids' lives, especially when you follow kids from the time of birth up till they get older, and watch them develop through their many milestones.

  7. Beautiful Post Kyla.

    We learned there was something 'wrong' with youngest within minutes of his birth.
    An 18 year roller coaster, which we've yet to get off ...

    Never easy to be a resident of holland is it? But the scenery can't be replaced ...nor should it.

    (for those who don't know, the Holland reference is a writing that is quite beautiful for those who've been dealing with Chronic illness in their child (or disability of some sort) google it .. it's called Welcome to Holland)


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