The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: Reflecting on My Clerkship Experience: Inpatient Pediatrics
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Reflecting on My Clerkship Experience: Inpatient Pediatrics

From the AAMC Careers in Medicine Clinical Evaluation 

1. Name and Location of Clinical Rotation: 
Pediatric Pulmonary at Riley Children's Hospital

2. What did I like most about this specialty? 
The residents and attendings were all very personable and helpful. After seeing so much asthma and cystic fibrosis I have learned a lot about how to make an appropriate assessment and plan on those patients - i.e. I feel more like a real doctor!

3. What did I like least about this specialty?
It really tugged at my heart to see kids alone in their rooms with no parents around. Also, learning of all the non-medical issues that prevented the kids from having a normal, stress-free childhood - like parental neglect, abuse, homelessness - but feeling so limited on what I could do for those families.

4. Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like? 
Not really, we spent the majority of our time with the residents and I am told that you cannot base things on what the residents are doing because their schedule is not indicative of an attending's schedule. Also, we didn't get to see the outpatient aspect of Pulmonology, which is a completely different experience than inpatient medicine.

5. Did my interests, values, skills and/or personality "fit" with this specialty? If yes, in what way did they "fit"? If no, why might they not be compatible? 
Going into this, I definitely had an interest in pulmonary medicine. I think that I have a good personality for Pediatrics, but I am not sure if "all lungs, all the time" is a good fit for me.

Also, to specialize in pulmonary, I would have to do an additional fellowship after a 3 year pediatrics residency. I don't think I want to be in training another 6 years after getting my MD.

Finally, being on call frequently is definitely something I would have a difficult time with when I am finally practicing medicine. My time with family is a HUGE priority to me and I want to find a specialty that would allow me to have that without feeling like a burden on my colleagues.

6. What are the possible practice settings for specialists in this field? Which of these settings interest me and do I know enough about them?
- Outpatient Clinic
- Inpatient Wards
- Academic Settings

Since I only got to see the inpatient side of things, I can't really say which setting I would like more. 

7. What information do I still need to find out about this specialty? 
I would like to learn more about the outpatient side of things and how much free time most physicians have who practice on the inpatient side of pediatrics. 

8. Has my perception of this specialty changed based on my clinical rotation experience? 
I still think pulmonary medicine is interesting, but I am not sure if pulmonary peds is for me.

9. Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing a career in this specialty? If yes, how did it influence me? 
Yes, it confirmed that I do really enjoy working with children, but I do not want to only work with children - which was a huge reason why I liked Family Medicine so much. However, I do like the idea of specializing and being an expert in a particular thing, versus being familiar with a ton of different things like in Family Medicine.

10. Right now, on a scale of 1-10, how interested am I in this specialty as a career option? 3

11. Other comments or reflections about this rotation or specialty: 
I really enjoyed my time with the adolescent population of patients. I am really looking forward to my time in the Adolescent Clinic during my outpatient Pediatrics month!
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