Tuesday, November 26, 2019

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Let me start by saying that children are awesome. They tend to be brutally honest, high energy, fun loving, and endlessly entertaining. With that said, dealing with sick kids (and their often worried and anxious parents) can be difficult. Nevertheless, for the next 6 weeks that is exactly what I'll be doing.

On paper, this rotation is pretty straight forward (and certainly less demanding than my previous Surgery rotation). The six week rotation is divided into three two-week blocks; Newborns, Pediatric Clinic, and the Pediatric Wards.

Newborn (aka Mommy and Baby)

This two-week block is pretty straight forward on paper. Days start at 6:30 AM with pre-rounding, and then rounds with the Attending physician begin around 8-9am. As a medical student, my job is to presents 4-6 patients to the attending. This means reviewing the mother and baby's records from prenatal care through delivery, seeing the family and examining the baby, then writing a note. Rounds typically last through the early afternoon.

Around lunch time we have lectures twice a week (last week they were on ADHD and Tuberculosis screening and treatment). Then after lunch medical students help the Resident with any tasks they ask for. During this time, I've helped with baby "transitions" from c-section (basically the ObGyn removes the baby from the uterus and hands it to the pediatrics residents, and we do a bunch of tests and measurements to make sure the baby is healthy). I've also assisted with circumcisions, and helped new mothers get discharged home with their bundles of joy.

In the evenings I hit the books for Step 2 prep, and for the first time in my 3rd year I often have some time to read for pleasure! My current read  is "Mans fourth best Hospital" by Samuel Shem. I'll be writing a review about it soon.

My schedule for Pediatric wards is basically the same as this block.

Pediatric Clinic

This block is probably the most straight forward on paper, but in practice the most complex. The thing is, children of all ages come into the clinic, but almost every age group has very specific needs. Everything from the important records to review, to the patient interview, physical exam, and course of treatment change depending on the child's age. What you end up with is a clinic where you're constantly readjusting (and as a med student re-reviewing) before every patient.

Days start at 8:30. Break for lunch or lecture. Then back at it till 4pm. Just as with Wards, I've had time to study for Step 2 every evening. This rotation also assigns students "call duty". I use the parentheses because compared with the call duty hours from my surgery or internal medicine rotations, this is far less demanding. Basically on call days we have to show up and work a regular day. No night hours, just weekends and holidays. For me that means Thanksgiving at the medical center this year, where I'll be  thankful for a relatively stress free rotation.

Final Thoughts

This rotation marks the halfway point for my third year of medical school. At this point, I've begun to form pretty solid ideas about which specialty I plan to pursue. I've actually revealed my choice on Youtube, if you're interested to know. looking back, Its amazing that I've learned so much in the last six months. Thinking back to my first day as a confused newbie on internal medicine, I've certainly gotten my sea legs since then. With that said, working with the attendings reminds me every day that I have so much more to learn. And of course so much more to share with you here in the future.

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