I’m currently on my vacation month, so figured it’s a good time to catch up. I just wrote a post on Block 1 (Medicine, Neuro, Psych) and here’s the post on Block 2!
Pediatrics: My favorite rotation thus far, hands down. But in all honesty, it didn’t start out that way. The first few days were rough. I hated it. I think I was still really feeling the sadness of Child Psych and it was a wake-up call to be thrust back into an intense schedule. It felt like the Medicine rotation, except all the patients were kiddos. There was also a scheduling issue and I ended up working more hours to cover for another student who wanted the weekend off…anyway, let’s just say: the first few days SUCKED for multiple reasons. There was stuff I was dealing with outside of school too…and then my grandma died and I got the text right as I got to work. So yeah, it was an unbelievably rough start and my personal life felt like it was falling apart.
But the amazing thing was how much I ended up loving peds, despite the rough start and in spite of all the personal stuff. I actually enjoyed going to work and looked forward to seeing each of my kiddos. I had an incredible resident and he taught me so much. He was extremely kind and patient and genuinely enjoyed teaching us. I joked that he was the gunner of residents, but it was totally to our advantage because I learned SO MUCH from him. I also absolutely loved the Hospitalist attendings/fellow I worked with at Riley. They were amazing people and I felt like I was around “my people.” As much as I didn’t fit into the Psych world, I felt like I did fit into the Peds world. I loved it. And seriously, how awesome is it to get to play with kids as part of your job? SO AWESOME.
I did my first 2.5 weeks of peds on the Hospitalist team–great bread-and-butter peds experience. Riley is an amazing place to work and it was like a dream come true–a dream I’d had since I was a little girl. It was fun being on the Hospitalist team because pretty much all the kids get better. It’s awesome to be able to discharge a previously sick child to go home feeling so much better. And the problem lists are so much shorter than the ones I saw on Medicine! I like the straightforwardness of Peds…a kid comes in with a UTI, you diagnose it, you treat the UTI with an antibiotic…and voila, the kid gets better! I loved that quick turnaround and it felt rewarding.
Even though people often say the hardest part of peds is the parents, I actually loved working with them. I enjoyed the challenge of walking into a child’s room and having to win the child’s trust and the parents’ trust. I liked the education aspect. I liked showing kids how to use a stethoscope and seeing their eyes light up as they heard their heartbeat. I liked how much the parents cared. I had a dad who was frustrated that his little girl was being treated with antibiotics but was still spiking fevers and wasn’t acting like herself…it was cool to print out the fever curve and be able to show him the fever curve was trending down. Some of my favorite interactions were with the parents…they’re often terrified for their child and need your attention once you’ve stabilized the child. I loved the social aspect and family dynamics that needed to be addressed. I love the partnership of working with the parents to get their child better. In the cases of child abuse, I (of course) felt extreme anger internally that a child was abused by the people who are supposed to protect him, but was so honored to be part of the team advocating for the child’s safety. One of the attendings told me that as a pediatrician, you may be the only advocate for that child. You could potentially save a child’s life by being a little nosy and asking a few simple questions instead of making assumptions. That’s an incredible responsibility.
Ok, I could ramble on and on about how awesome peds is, but I’ll stop myself for now. So yeah, did 2.5 weeks on hospitalist, 2 weeks of outpatient, and then 2.5 weeks of heme/onc (which btw, the patients there are AMAZING…and their families are incredible…really reigning in the desire to ramble right now). Peds was amazing.
Family Medicine: I did my FM rotation in South Bend. My preceptor was great, the hours were great, we saw lots of patients. I’m very interested in Family Medicine because I like how broad it is and I think it would be very useful on the mission field (I have a strong interest in missions). If I do Family Medicine, I definitely want to work in an underserved area or in another country. I want to be able to practice broadly, not just make adjustments to hypertension meds. Haha. I’m waiting to see if I like OB…if I do, then FM will likely be right up there with Peds.
Vacation: I’d scheduled my vacation month to be January. So I finished FM mid-December, went into Christmas break, and then into vacation until February. There were some unexpected changes in my original plan for the vacation, so long story short, I ended up doing an Emergency Med Research elective during this month. It’s pretty much still felt like a vacation because I have so much free time. I got to create my own hours, so I work Tues-Thurs from 9-1 in the ER. It’s been nice because I’m able to get work done, but I also have tons of free time. And it’s amazing not working Mondays or Fridays. Haha. Just saying, I’ll have to keep this schedule in mind for the future…
Ok, I finally caught up and summed up the past 8 months of med school into 2 blog posts. I feel so accomplished. ;) As always, if you have questions about third year, med school, my dog Houston, my epic dance move that is slowly sweeping the nation, my thoughts on the latest episode of The Bachelor, or anything in between…feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com. I love hearing from you guys!