Post-Pediatrics Rotation Update: Intro

Hi friends!

You know what this post means…I’m done with another rotation, and now I’m going to tell you all about it!!  I did 2 weeks on an elective (not directly related to the rotation), 2 weeks on a pediatric subspecialty, 2 weeks in outpatient clinic, 1 week on an inpatient general pediatrics team, and 1 week in the newborn nursery.

I loved peds. I came in to med school thinking that I wanted to be some sort of pediatrician. After this rotation, after the sadness of chronically sick kids and the frustration of screaming babies who refuse to be examined, I haven’t been scared away. I don’t know if it’s what I’ll end up doing, but it’s definitely still an option.

Here’s what pediatrics looks like at Vandy:

  • If you’re on inpatient, you usually show up around 6am to hear the resident who was on call for the night “sign out” to the resident who’s on call for that day, relaying any lab results, acute events, or other pertinent information about the patients.  Then, before “morning report” starts at 7:45, you pre-round on your patients.  If you’re on outpatient at Vandy, you go to morning report and then show up for your clinical duties.  If you’re doing something off campus, you’re usually not required to go to morning report first.
  • At 7:45, there’s typically some sort of conference for students to attend.  Sometimes the med students meet together with the clerkship directors and discuss interesting cases.  Other times we join the residents for their conferences, or for Grand Rounds where a guest lecturer gives a presentation.
  • Around 8:30, students on inpatient rejoin whatever team they’re on to present patients on rounds.  Rounds take a bit longer than on surgery, especially if family members are present, because the team discusses the plan for the patient by systems (neuro, cardiovascular, etc) and the attending briefly examines the child and updates the family on his/her progress.  Sometimes, medical students will have tasks to complete after rounds, like calling radiology for a report on an MRI, or asking a nurse to page the team if a family member comes to see a patient.  The flow of the rest of the day depends on the team.  Usually a student stay around until 4 or 5pm; this time may be spent studying or helping the team with notes, discharges, or gathering information on the patients they’re following.
  • For clinic, students come back from morning conference and wait for patients to arrive.  Students usually see patients alone at first, take a history and do a physical exam, then present to an attending or resident, who then will go back into the room with the student to see the patient.  Depending on the patient load (and, to some extent, the personalities of the superiors) students may be there until 5 or 6pm.
  • Of course, there are lectures and other extra-clerkship duties that students are often required to leave their team for.  Some of these were interesting, some were extremely practical for shelf studying and patient care, others, quite frankly, were boring.  Really depended on the subject, the lecture format, and how much sleep I got the night before.
  • Other fun things about Vandy’s children’s hospital:
    • every floor is colorful and animal-themed
    • on Fridays, people would make “candy rounds” and bring goodies to the different teams
    • also, there’s a Ben & Jerry’s in the lobby.  So tempting, so wonderful after a hard day.  I’m surprised I didn’t blow more money there in my 6 weeks.

I didn’t have as much time as I thought I would to “be a normal person,” as I hoped I would in my last crop of posts.  But I definitely enjoyed not having to get to campus at 5am every day like I had to on surgery.  I was definitely a happier, better-rested person this time around.

Also, while I was on this rotation, I got my evaluation back for surgery.  On paper I passed, but I was honestly pretty discouraged by the end result of my shelf exam and the comments I received.  I’m still dealing with these feelings.  Maybe one day I won’t get so deflated by these bumps in the road.  For now, I have to learn how to pick up the pieces and keep going.  In any case I’m hoping for a better outcome from pediatrics!

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