Pediatrics, More than Just a Runny Nose

I survived! Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to go on a preceptorship at a pediatricians office, and all I can say is it was an eye-opening experience and exceeded all of my expectations. Going into the clinic, I expected to follow the physician as she tended to one sick child after the other. And to an extent that’s what we did. The number of Rapid Flu, Rapid Strep, and Strep cultures ordered were too numerous to count. What else was too numerous to count? THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T GET THEIR FLU SHOTS! It’s funny, the correlation between people who were diagnosed with the flu and whether or not they had gotten a flu shot was uncanny. Moral of the story, get your flu shot.

Aside from the strep throats and runny noses, I didn’t realize people just came in for wellness visits. Maybe it’s because I’m a few years out of seeing my pediatrician but I don’t remember ever going into the pediatric office just to tell them I’m doing well.

I was WAY overdressed for my pediatrics preceptorship. 

One visit that stuck out in particular was a child with a history of hyperactivity and inability to concentration in school/tendency to interrupt others. Because this had been going on for quite some time (and based off outside feedback), the doctor diagnosed the child with ADHD. The conversation of medication came up and it was intriguing to see the personalities the pediatrician had; one that was tailored to children and another towards parents. The child had no clue what was going on and the parents were concerned that being on meds would take away from who the child really is.

Another visit that stuck out was the case of the “Know-It-All” parent. It was so infuriating and satisfying to watch as parents come in after diagnosing their child’s symptoms through WebMD , demanding medication or coming in armed with misinformation and refusing to listen to what the doctor had to say. Now I’m not saying that physicians know it all but after years of schooling you have to admit they know something (especially when it’s the millionth time they’ve seen swollen lymph nodes due to infection, NOT cancer). Watching the doctor teach parents about their child’s condition and how to conduct appropriate research made it clear that in pediatrics, children are not the only patients, parents are too.

It’s probably premature to say this but pediatrics might be the move. I loved everything about interacting with the children and educating not only them but their parents on how to live healthier lives. Not to mention the wide range of cases that may be presented, from the flu to diagnosing autism/ADHD to correcting congenital heart defects to checking up on healthy teens, pediatrics seems to encompass it all. But who knows, I’ve enjoyed every preceptorship I’ve done and come out of them thinking that’s the specialty I’ll pursue. Only time will tell.

40% chance I have the flu and that I got it from one of the kids…


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