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not your typical future pediatrician?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Katie, Nov 7, 2001.

  1. OK, I have been interested in pediatrics for a long time. I've always loved kids and have a great rapport with them. However, I've recently realized that it is pretty unlikely that I'll ever get married because I have had terrible luck with men thus far(and for those who were wondering I'm still attracted to them in spite of this :)) and the statistics are just not in my favor as a single 24-year old medical student (first year at TUSM for those who haven't seen my posts). I'm just worried that parents of children will not be comfortable bringing their children to see someone who doesn't have a husband or kids of their own (and before writing a thoughtless reply please remember that people CAN tell if you are married by the presence of a wedding ring in the majority of cases). People can be very judgemental and I don't want my patients (or their parents in this case) to be uncomfortable around me, so maybe I should find a different specialty. What do you all think? If so, what would be a good specialty to go into? I'm not inclined toward surgery because of my poor small muscle coordination (though I'm sure I'd find it fascinating), and want as much patient contact as possible.
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  3. tidy_kiwi

    tidy_kiwi Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2001
    Auckland, NZ
    Were you thinking in terms of private practice? I'm not sure how the system works in the USA but over here you have (very few) paediatricians in private practice....most specialists are associated with hospitals where the kids get refered by their GP's....I know that if my hypothetical child was seriously ill I would rather that the paeds doc would know their stuff rather than be worrying about if they had kids of their own or no I don't think that this should preclude you from pursuing that path. I can understand your point of view if you were thinking about continuity of care in a private setting....but I shouldn't think it would be a problem (at least I hope not cos i was thinking about paeds & I don't plan on having kids just yet).
  4. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    From my experience, I don't think that your marital/children status matters at all when people are looking for a pediatrician. They don't care if you know how to raise a kid, they just want to know if you're competent at treating kids' illnesses. I never asked my daughter's doctors if they had children, and never paid attention to whether or not they wore wedding rings.

    I really don't think this would be an issue. I'm sure most parents would prefer a single doc with the rapport you say you have with kids as opposed to a married w/ children doc who isn't so good at interacting with the youngsters.
  5. Future GI Guy

    Future GI Guy Hoo Hoo.... 7+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    I personally know 3 single female pediatricians, and none of them have any trouble filling their clinic schedule weeks in advance. I honestly think it doesn't matter.

    Consider, also, how many single mothers there are out there, and I think at the very least, you would be viewed as someone who understands the plight of a single person a little more. Ultimately, when a parent has a sick child, they could care less what's on your finger; they want to be confident in what's between those two ears of yours.

    Something more I'd like to say is that you shouldn't give up on men. I, myself, am one, and we're not all bad. You'll find someone who's perfect for you if that's what you want. I'm absolutely positive of that.
  6. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny
    my mom is a single pediatrician mom. Although she is busy a lot, I respect her more for it...she's a great doc and people are always ranting good things about her...I think when a parent does excellent in their job, their kids look up to them and are proud of them...just my .02.
  7. Socceroo4ever

    Socceroo4ever Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 30, 2000
    Sigh... and North Carolina is so far away from you!

    Have courage on the men: there's plenty out there thinking the same things as you, i.e., much as I like 'em, they don't seem to work out too well. (Even if there's not plenty of 'em, there's me. And as far as I'm concerned, that's one too many single men in my life.)

    I honestly hadn't thought of single docs as any different from married docs. One way or another, the private life of my physician doesn't matter to me (excepting tendencies towards violence, sadism, or other broom closet activities), so long as she or he is a competent physician. Do what makes you happy, and I'm sure that will reflect well on your patients (and their parents).

    Best of luck.
  8. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    Hey Katie,

    I worked in a peds specialty for the last 2 years before starting med school and guess what -- of our 4 attendings, 3 were married and had children. The 4th attending was a guy in his mid-40's, divorced twice, no kids. He was also our most popular doctor -- he had a great rapport with the patients (parents and kids loved him), plus he was freaking brilliant which helped too. Anyways, I'm sure you get my point.

    I definitely feel your pain being a 24-year-old, single female starting med school ;). I'm also having this feeling like the whole marriage thing just isn't going to work out. But definitely don't let it factor into your specialty choice -- do whatever you think you will enjoy.
  9. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member guys with your "I'm 24 single and starting medical school". Try being 30+! :eek:

    I agree, there might be some people who would question your ability to be the best pediatrician but I'll estimate that it will be in the extreme minority. Most simply want someone who is good with kids, who knows their stuff and takes care of them well.

    For tidy kiwi, Pediatrics is very different in the US than in the Southern Hemisphere. In the US, it is a primary care specialty (we really don't have GPs anymore, other than Family Practitioners) and most families with children utilize a Pediatrician without referral from a Family Practioner. There are Pediatric Specialists who do tend to practice in hospitals and most likely require a referral, but most general Pediatricians are considered bread and butter physicians who don't require a gatekeeper permission.
  10. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    I think it just comes down to being a single female in med school. It's a slightly alienating experience, probably no matter what the age.
  11. yes, it is definitely an alienating and intimidating experience being a single female in med school. It is particularly bad on my end because I have been in several long-term relationships before that didn't work out; some of the other single females here have never had a bf and don't really miss it. Anyway, thanks to all of you for the encouraging responses; I won't give up on going into peds just yet. :)
  12. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    Katie, ever get the feeling that we're living parallel lives? ;)
  13. andrea

    andrea 10+ Year Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Katie and Lilycat, do med students in your class date each other? I wonder if there is pressure to date and if dating a classmate is a good thing.
  14. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    Houston, TX

    I just wanted to let you know that our pediatrician (my son's actually) doesn't have any kids. It doesn't matter to me. In fact, I like her much better than some of the other doctors in the practice who do have kids.

    I do know people who want their pediatrician to be a parent, but they are probably annoying patients anyway. :)

    I think you'll be fine. I definitely don't think it's a reason to change your specialty.
  15. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    I think this may need another thread. :)
  16. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;) 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2000
    In residency HELL
    I don't think being married OR having kids is a pre-requisite for being an EXCELLENT pediatrician...all you need is the desire to do a good job and like/love kids! People won't care if you have kids or not...I sure wouldn't. Matter of fact, I think I would probably think it pretty neat to have a pediatrician that loved kids that much, even though they didn't have any of their own!

    Would you be a bad OB/GYN if you were a virgin? :D

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