Nov 10, 2011

Aspiring Pediatrician

I guess I am influenced by many of my pediatricians to start loving pediatrics. Back in childhood my pediatric cardiologist shares the same surname as me and is a distant relative. Despite working in Penang General Hospital, his clinic visits were ample in quality time and fun to go to. To me pediatricians always have the extra patience to pacify a crying child, explain the umpteenth time a condition to the parent, and have fun in the meantime playing peek-a-boo with the thoughtless toddler. For some reason I yearn to have that patience and confidence and the responsibility of thinking the future of a child depends on me.
Four weeks in NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital opened my eyes to the scope of pediatrics. Breaking the traditional boundaries of common cold and chickenpox, the breadth of every subspecialty in pediatrics is beyond my greedy mind. Adolescence is also a branch in pediatrics that is commonly neglected, and I enjoyed my 2 weeks giving HEADSSS assessments and educating young adults on safe sex, contraception and healthy diets. I see a new light in my daily clinical routine - that advocacy, anticipatory guidance and patient education are just as important, even though not as well paid.

I'm among those fortunate enough not to be irritated by a child crying, capable enough to zip through PEs without breaking the threshold of irritable falsetto screams, and not ashamed of making a fool of myself pacifying an angry child. That should be enough to qualify me for a residency in pediatrics.
Anyway, this will not be an easy process. As with all other medical specialties, the call nights and intensive residency programs will milk all you're worth before they admit you as their equal. And I'm not sure if I can reiterate my passion today 5 years ahead. Maybe I'll end up a Broadway actor or travel book writer, or escape the realms of clinical medicine in pursuit of research. However, it's just good to find something you love and pursuit it for all its worth.