A Week of Babies, Toddlers, and Kiddos

Nearly two months into medical school, and I feel like I’ve been doing this forever.

This week has felt really relaxed, now that we don’t have any exams coming up immediately. I hadn’t shadowed or been in a clinic (other than ICM, and that’s just practice) since school started, so I really, really, really needed some time with patients and with kids. Having so much free time, I had to do something besides study.

Saturday, I started the morning out in the NICU seeing dozens of patients. I loved every minute! There were plenty of interesting cases and we even got to talk to some family members, so I really learned a lot in just a few short hours. We even had a blood smear come in that pathology claimed was interesting, and since I’m taking histology while the residents and fellows haven’t had it in a long time, I got to teach some of the things I’ve learned about blood, which was awesome. I felt like I actually knew something.

Saturday night was my shift in the Catch-a-Baby program sponsored by the OB/GYN club. I’m fairly confident, if you hadn’t guessed by now, that I’ll be going into pediatrics, but I am trying to keep an open mind and try out some other specialties. I do like performing surgeries and since I love babies, why not at least give OB a shot, right? So another classmate and I showed up for our shift just as a lady was being prepped for a C-section. I spent three summers in Mom/Baby at a local hospital and I still hadn’t seen a C-section, so this was really interesting. The night staff was cool and let us learn, which was pretty awesome. We hear so many stories about attendings/residents/etc being mean to students as things like that, but this was really fun. But, I’m pretty sure I’m bound to be a pediatrician, because I was far more interested in what was going on with the healthy newborn than I was in the surgery with the mom. Overall though, a great experience!

Tuesday, I got to visit a general pediatrics office. This was a lot of fun too. In just a half-day, I laughed so much that by the time I left, my face hurt. Another thing about wearing a short white coat: people trust you automatically with their kids. One of our kiddos needed a flu shot and wanted to fight it, so mom was needed to assist. She hands her adorable one-year-old boy to me, a stranger.

Thursday and Friday, I got to be a part of the SMILE program, Students Making Illness a Little Easier, where we get to play with the kiddos on the hematology/oncology floor. This opportunity is so wonderful! I love my SMILE days.

So very needed. So motivating. This was exactly what the doctor ordered. Have I mentioned yet that I love being a medical student?

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