Rotation: Pediatrics

I always knew I was destined to be a pediatrician, but when your very first patient on your pediatrics rotation is a 1 year old that demands you hold her as soon as you enter the room, then refuses to let you go when you leave… It might just be a sign!

Name/Location of Clinical Rotation

3 weeks outpatient in a local clinic; one week of mornings in Newborn Nursery; 3 weeks inpatient at our Children’s Hospital, one morning in the special needs unit at HOTI.

Typical Day Inpatient: Table rounds were at 8am before Morning Report, so I’d go in before then to see my patients (2-4, depending on the day), write my notes, then meet up with my team/study. Morning Report, then walk rounds. At noon there was usually a lecture or talk. Wednesday afternoons we had lectures and quizzes to help us prep for the shelf exam. Call was Q4 and we’d be done around 7p. My inpatient rotation was in the winter, so we saw lots of bronchiolitis and RSV.

Typical Day Outpatient: 8:30 am start, with first appointments from 8:45-9am. My classmates and I would get our laptop and otoscopes for the day and choose an attending to be with for the morning. We’d see patients and then present to the attending before going in together to see the patient again. Whenever the last patient was done in the morning, we’d grab lunch and study before grabbing a resident for the afternoon continuity clinic. It was fast-paced and I loved every minute of it. There was plenty of the bread-and-butter stuff (WCC well child checks for every age group, gastrointeritis, asthma, rashes, otitis media, etc) and cool cases of rare genetic stuff too. The latest I ever stayed was 6pm, and we had the weekends off.

What did I like most about this specialty?

It is just so darn fun. I’d go home with a face that hurt from smiling too much. 

What did I like least about this specialty?

Honestly, I was glad that I did my 4 weeks of elective time in peds subspecialties so that I got a more holistic view of all that peds has to offer. It would be nice to have more exposure to other subspecialties but in only 6 weeks, it’s hard to do. 

What I hear most from people who don’t want to go into peds is that parents are hard to deal with, which is swhy me times true, but I like counseling so it wasn’t a big deal. I had one mom ask me what was in the MMR vaccine, and after I explained it to her, she asked me if it was the one that made kids “stupid.” So that was a longer conversation about what she had heard, what her concerns were, etc. The kiddo got his vaccine, so that was a plus! 😉

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

I really think that it did. We were exposed to a lot in a short period of time. 

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! Lots of inpatient and outpatient visits, lots of acute issues, newborn nursery, and a really unique experience at HOTI. What I’m hoping for as a part of my career is community involvement, and our peds program here really excels at that. My outpatient clinic was also considered an AHEC site, meaning that it was in a rural setting.

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

There are so many options. I loved outpatient clinic but I love hospitals more. I still think NICU is going to win though.

What info do I still need?

I asked everyone I could about what I could do to be a great pediatrics resident, things they wish they would have known before applying to residency, anything and everything about the application and interview process… Anyth not I could think of. I learned so much from the residents about what the job entails. This rotation made me excited about life. 

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

Not so much changed as reaffirmed.

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

My passion was confirmed, over and over again. I had so much fun on this rotation. I had much more confidence on this rotation than the previous ones. I’m not sure if that was because I had a kid at home so I wasn’t nervous around the patients or their parents, or if it was the great faculty and residents that were so encouraging, or if I was just to my role as a second-semester third year, but it was an absolute blast and for the first time I actually felt like I knew what I was doing.

Right now, how interested am I in this specialty?


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

It was my goal to not get sick on this winter peds rotation. I failed big time, and got sick on three separate occasions in the span of 6 weeks: gastroenteritis, hand foot & mouth, and a cold. No bueno.


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