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how do you know you'll be a good pediatrician?

Discussion in 'Pediatrics' started by nightowl, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. nightowl

    nightowl Senior Member
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    I am a third year med student having a lot of trouble deciding on a specialty, but I remember enjoying my pediatrics rotation. I also like seeing kids in family medicine. I never really thought of myself as being one of those stereotypical "great with kids" types. I am a very friendly person and like the friendly, warm, fun atmosphere of pediatrics... I like pediatric hospitals and I like pediatricians. I just wonder if this is enough to choose pediatrics as a career. I'm afraid that I'll go this route and then turn out to not have a knack for it.... I am good with adults because I take time to talk, am patient, etc. but I feel like I would burn out on adults not taking care of themselves, social issues, and the atmosphere of adult medicine, which just seems more competitive with less friendly personalities. I know these are generalizations, but I'm more than half way through my third year and still really struggling with what to do.:confused:
     
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  3. BigRedBeta

    BigRedBeta Why am I in a handbasket?
    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I'm a big believer in the notion that happy people are productive people. If you feel like you'll be happier going into peds, then that's a perfectly acceptable reason in my book.

    One of the things I've realized on my peds months is that even if you don't have a natural "talent" for kids, there are plenty of little tricks you can pick up along the way. There's even a thread around here somewhere about them...I'll have to see if I can find it.
     
  4. BigNavyPedsGuy

    BigNavyPedsGuy Junior Member
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    You know how to be good with kids? 1) Decide to be. 2)Always get on their level 3) Be fun

    You listed all of the reasons I steered clear of adult medicine. What the phrase? If you find a job you love, you'll never work a day in your life.
     
  5. generic

    generic Senile Member
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    I concur.

    Adult medicine is less fun, less happy, and working the same hours/caring for the same # of patients made me much more stressed and miserable.

    So it was an easy choice.

    I'm sure you'll be good at it because you love it--makes the work and knowledge come naturally
     
  6. OASHAA

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    HI
    DEALING with kids is very wonderful
    they are the angles of the world.gives you somthing of joy and happiness
    i love pediatric very :luck:much
     
  7. BigRedBeta

    BigRedBeta Why am I in a handbasket?
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    Just have to say that I'm in Australia now, doing an adult cardiology rotation, and I'm beyond excited to say that this is my absolute last month of my career caring for adult patients. I realize that some of my residency choices have ER months where I might see some adult patients, but it really struck me that no matter what I do from now on (after this month), adults are going to be a distinct minority of my patients from here on out. The Aussies (and the Brits who are also doing international rotations here) are astounded about our ability to directly enter into our specialties for residencies. I doubt there's any experience that could assure me that I'm going into the right field as what I'm going through right now!
     
  8. DarthNeurology

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    I would consider doing a pediatric sub-I and/or elective early in fourth year to help you decide. This will allow you to interact with a broader range of pediatricians, . . . while many peds attendings are nice, there are some pediatric attendings that aren't very nice at all, just like there are some very nice internal medicine people. So, I wouldn't base a decision on perceived likeability of colleagues necessarily, but rather if you like the population of patients, i.e. kids, that you are working with. You could get stuck in a tougher pediatric residency/rotation as a resident, and you love of helping sick kids get better is what will pull you through.

    Remember, in pediatrics, especially ambulatory but inpatient as well, there are a myriad of "social issues" which directly impact care in a way that you don't see in adult populations. Indeed, a large amount of pediatrics is addressing home issues and social issues not among only kids, but also among adults i.e. parents, as well. As a pediatrician Mom or Dad often becomes your second patient and you have to address their concerns and council on them about issues as well.

    Some people are repulsed by medicine personalities and really dislike internal medicine and this helps them decide on pediatrics, I didn't experience this and it seem sort of like saying that in college you took some law courses or did basic research and absolutely hated it and this is why you went into medicine. While it is good to eliminate possibilities, and this works for some, for me I needed to feel that gut feelings that tells me I would enjoy doing something for an extended amount of time and that there is value for society in the work.

    For me that feels more like being pushed into something. I loved my peds clerkship and electives and this sort of "pulled" instead of "pushed" me into pediatrics.
     
  9. nightowl

    nightowl Senior Member
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    thanks for the advice everyone!:luck:I'm still leaning toward pediatrics, after knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I do not see myself in family practice, internal med, or psychiatry. I've still got some warm fuzzy feelings for ob/gyn, so fourth year I'm going to take everyone's advice and do a sub-i in peds ER and probalby peds hem-onc, if I can do both. I also might do one rotation through gynecology.

    I've come to notice that taking care of adults makes me so tired. I just feel very strained and uncomfortable with adults compared to kids. I'm told that I'm very friendly, but a lot of times I feel like I'm really, really putting forth effort to be friendly. On peds, I just feel like smiling.

    plus recently I was on call in ER and was having a miserable time until we were consulted for a peds psych patient. It was like a 180 in my mood once we wandered over to the peds side of the ER:) I just wanted to stay.... again thanks for the advice! and would love more!
     

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