Rotation: Elective Month in Pediatrics!

Halloween at the children’s hospital–I was an aquarium and I gave away my fish stickers to kids!

Name/Location of Clinical Rotation

Elective time! At the children’s hospital! So fun!

I wound up going a different route than most students. A lot will use their elective time for vacation or research, or multi-week rotations in one area, or a combination of these. I spent one week in four areas, so that I could see as many different things as possible. I spent with on Heme/Onc, Wards, PICU, and ID, all at the children’s hospital.

What did I like most about this specialty?

So many things! There were a lot of things to learn about on Heme/Onc. I saw lots of different blood dyscrasias as well as super-rare forms of cancer (bonus–the kiddos were all doing well with their treatments, too!). In the PICU I saw a lot of rare diseases and some severe traumas. I learned a lot about ventilator settings in the PICU. On wards, I learned how the teams flowed and I thought that would really help in January when I finally get to be on my pediatrics rotation. In ID, I got to be in the hospital as well as in the immunology clinic, which was super cool.

What did I like least about this specialty?

There wasn’t a single thing that I didn’t like about the specialty itself. If I had done two week stretches in just two areas, I think I could have taken on more responsibility for patients. With only a week, it was hard to follow a patient.

Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like?

One of the reasons I chose to split up my elective time the way I did was so that I could see a lot more than I would see on wards alone when I got to my pediatrics rotation. On the pediatrics rotation, you get to spend three weeks in an outpatient setting and three weeks on wards, or inpatient. You don’t get to see any of the subspecialties, or PICU/NICU care, or anything like that. So by splitting up my elective time, I got a view of what else lies inside of pediatrics that 3rd years usually don’t see.

Did my interests, values, kills and personality fit with this specialty? If yes, how did they fit? If not, why might they not be compatible?

Absolutely. All of the people were so friendly, even the sick kiddos. I loved working with them and their families. I love how the children’s hospital is also heavily involved in the community. It was such a great experience.

What are the possible practice settings exist for this specialty? Do any of them interest me and do I know enough about them?

Inpatient, outpatient, general practice, subspecialties… it’s got it all, only with kids. I really liked the critical care component and am excited to get more exposure to that type of practice.

What info do I still need?

I still need my general pediatrics experience, of course.

Has my perception of this specialty changed? If yes, how?

Nope, not a bit. The people are fun, hardworking, passionate people and I absolutely loved their commitment to children’s health and advocacy, not just medicine.

Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing this specialty?

It has definitely helped to solidify my passion for working with kids and their families.

Right now, how interested am I in this specialty?

I thoroughly enjoyed myself on this elective rotation. I loved that I got to see so many subspecialties since we don’t get any subspecialty exposure during our pediatrics rotation. I already feel like  I have found “my tribe”, and I cannot wait to get to be a clerk in pediatrics!

What information do I still need to evaluate this specialty? Any other comments or reflections?

I am so glad that I spent my 4 weeks of elective time in pediatrics. One week in a unit wasn’t enough time to really impress the attendings for future reference letters, but I did make a lot of great connections, learned a ton, and made me super excited for my pediatrics rotation at the beginning of the new year.


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