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Disillusioned Dilemma

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Hi. I was interested in going into pediatrics, but after completing third year of medical school, I'm not so sure anymore. I still enjoyed my experience during the pediatrics rotation. But the doctors on the other rotations kept telling me things like, "you're going into the field at the bottom of the salary pole" and as a pediatrician you can expect "all work and no pay". Then others make me feel like I'm going into pediatrics because I'm not a competitive student, which is not true. Of course, there are the rumors of high malpractice, and if you're sued, you're responsible for the patient until they are 18 years old. This all unfortunately has disillusioned me from pediatrics. Do parents really threaten to sue all the time? Why do pediatricians not get any respect from other physicians? I need some words of encouragement about going into pediatrics. Is the pay really that bad? I've heard some people who go into pediatrics spend 10+ more years paying back their student loans due to the lower salary pay. Please help me :(
 

riverie

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I'm at the same point in med school as you are and have battled similar questions and discouraging remarks from doctors in other fields, including my dad. I recently posted about this and received an enlightening reply from an experienced doc in the field. I will PM you the link.
 

DoctorFunk

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I'm at the same point in med school as you are and have battled similar questions and discouraging remarks from doctors in other fields, including my dad. I recently posted about this and received an enlightening reply from an experienced doc in the field. I will PM you the link.

Not that I plan on changing my mind from going into peds as I start 4th year, but I would be interested in reading some inspiring words about the field too, if you get a chance. ;)
 

riverie

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Not that I plan on changing my mind from going into peds as I start 4th year, but I would be interested in reading some inspiring words about the field too, if you get a chance. ;)

Will PM you the info too! :p
 

riverie

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Wow, a post to draw everyone out of the woodwork! ;) Will do.
 

Starphoenix

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Would you kindly PM me, too? Thanks so much!:D
 

edmadison

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Rather than ask riverie to PM me, I will try to give you some of my crooked insight. I may have even replied to the earlier thread.

You have to do what you want to. Weight all the factors. Do you like kids? s having gobs of money more important than just having a lot of money? Do you want to do something else instead.

I heard the same things you did when I was in med school and residency. I'm always skeptical of those who try to convince you that your choice is a bad one. It's one thing to say how great their field is, it's quite another to bash yours. I think many of them do it because they are insecure about their own choices.

Use your time in school to look into all the specialties. Then take time to get away -- go on a weekend trip or something. Think about what aspects of medicine you like and don't like. Write them down and then look at the list. Use that to help guide your experiences. The "low" pay argument in medicine is sureal. How many people out there would complain about a lifetime of making $120,000 per year while working 4 days a week. Malpractice rates are not huge for general pediatrics, certainly nothing compared to OB or Gas.

In the end, you have to answer your calling.

Ed
 

Homunculus

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Rather than ask riverie to PM me, I will try to give you some of my crooked insight. I may have even replied to the earlier thread.

You have to do what you want to. Weight all the factors. Do you like kids? s having gobs of money more important than just having a lot of money? Do you want to do something else instead.

I heard the same things you did when I was in med school and residency. I'm always skeptical of those who try to convince you that your choice is a bad one. It's one thing to say how great their field is, it's quite another to bash yours. I think many of them do it because they are insecure about their own choices.

Use your time in school to look into all the specialties. Then take time to get away -- go on a weekend trip or something. Think about what aspects of medicine you like and don't like. Write them down and then look at the list. Use that to help guide your experiences. The "low" pay argument in medicine is sureal. How many people out there would complain about a lifetime of making $120,000 per year while working 4 days a week. Malpractice rates are not huge for general pediatrics, certainly nothing compared to OB or Gas.

In the end, you have to answer your calling.

Ed


i agree with ed as usual. i heard the same things, and yes, there's some truth to them. peds has a very diverse top to bottom applicant pool. on one hand there are people who just want to see well babies in community clinics. on the other you have people who want to do PICU/NICU and other subspecialties. i've run into peds subspecialists that would have done well in *any* field, and some of the brightest people i've met clinically have been pediatricians.

it really comes down to satisfaction. i don't deal with patients who abuse themselves (for the most part) or cause their own diseases. if you do the right things, they get better (and most of th time even if it's not the exact right thing, they get better anyway).

the patient range is diverse-- instead of running the gamut of one stage ("adults") you instead truly have a range of patient types-- newborn babies, toddlers, preschoolers, pre-teens, adolescents. each day has a little different flavor depending on the population you see.

watching kids grow up and developing (as opposed to growing old and dying) is better for my soul. yes, there are bad diagnoses and events and i still keep a list of "things to sit down and talk to god about" once it comes to that time, but as pediatricians we have a much larger impact on preventative health-- so for that one heartbreaking cancer case, you may have prevented 10 other kids from having some other disease you headed off or diagnosed early enough it can be managed-- even stuff as simple as a good neonatal resuscitation, or talking to kids about making good decisions in life can have far more impact than anything you can do with adults.

you have a chance to do as much (or as little i suppose) as you want-- if you dig GI, or renal, or pulm, or allergy, you can do a *lot* of workups (except for procedures obviously) yourself. you aren't a specialist, but that doesn't preclude you from going down the same diagnostic tree they do.

in the end, you need to make your decision based on what you can do for 20+ years and not just tolerate. trust me, you will be clawing your eyeballs out if you choose based simply on "well, i can tolerate it, and i can make bank". you need to have an interest in it to do well, and to best care for your patients. i *wanted* to like radiology, or surgery, or gas-- but i just didn't. and i hope the people who do go into it because they truly like what they do.

there are crappy days to be sure-- but even high maintenence PITA parents are *usually* motivated out of concern for their kids, even if their emotions or opinions are misplaced and misdirected.

i could go on more about miscellanous other things, but this hits on a few. the nice thing about peds is that, 99.9% of the time, people go into it for the right reasons, and the personality disorders and @ssholes tend to stay away.

--your friendly neighborhood preparing for a mec delivery caveman
 

HCE

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you hear the same kind of crap going into Family and Psych. Do what you want to do, not what others think you should do. "To thine own self be true."
 
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