Adventures in Medicine

Medical School and Beyond!

For the Love of Pediatrics

on August 14, 2016

Anyone who knows me well or have asked me what field of medicine I want to go into know how much I love kids and desire to become a pediatrician.  This is a dream I have been chasing since I was a 5 year old girl watching Oprah with her Mommy.  A dream that has remained unchanged through High School, College, basic sciences in Medical School, and most recently my clinical rotations, including my pediatric core rotation.

I finished pediatrics about 3 weeks ago (after already completing a 4 week elective in neonatology).  Despite having some difficult patients I still desire to become a pediatrician. However, I do have some interesting stories.

One of my patients was the cutest little boy…he was maybe 3-4 years old.  When I walked into room 1  and introduced myself to the patient, his sister, and his mother he quickly got off his mother’s lap and walked over to greet me.  I responded saying it was nice to meet him and asked why he was at the doctors office that particular day.  Without missing a beat he replied, “There’s a bug in my eye and it hurts!”  (Does that remind anyone else of Toy Story where Woody says, “There’s a snake in my boot”?)  While he was insistent that there was a bug present in his eye he did not know how or when it got there but knew that it hurt and itched.  Eventually, the pain and itching was more than he could handle and he broke down crying (it broke my heart to see him like that).  But thankfully, it was determined to be allergies and he was given Benadryl and a freeze pop and sent home with a couple prescription.

I saw many babies with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) as this is a common phenomena in newborns since the muscle that keeps contents in the stomach is not strong enough yet and these babies spit up after eating but resolves by 8 months.  A young mom of one baby in particular was overwhelmed by this and in the babies first month of life I saw her 6 times.  Despite continually telling the mom to reduce to amount of milk she gets at each feed because a 1 monther can only hold 2 maybe 3 ounces in her stomach not 4-5 the mom still feed her more because she was concerned her baby was not getting enough because she spit up so much even though she had consistent weight gain.  (As a side note:  this past week I ran into this mom and baby at Sams Club and the baby still appears to be growing well.)

Another memorable patient was  a teenager with recurrent bloody noses in the morning when he wakes up making him having to change his pillow case.  When my doctor examined this patients nose she showed me the bulging artery in his right nostril.  She proceeded to cauterize this artery in the hope of stopping the nosebleeds from occurring.  The trick is after cauterizing the artery the patient is not able to sneeze until it is completely dry, however, this procedure makes the patient want to sneeze.  So I had to spend the next 15-20 minutes fanning the patients nose with a magazine.  When my attending came to check on his nose she noticed that the procedure caused another vessel to swell and the entire process (including the nose fanning) had to repeat all over again.

Another patient that broke my heart did so because I could completely relate.  This particular patients mom brought in her daughter because she was drinking water excessively and constantly having to go to the restroom.  One finger prick later it was determined that she had Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus after a blood glucose reading over 400.  The mom was informed that she needed to take her daughter to the ED at the children’s hospital immediately , for hospital admission, in order to investigate a metabolic disorder.  As soon as she heard this the little girl started crying and asking if she was going to die.  This immediately brought me back to my 14 year old self when I too was given the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.  Fortunately for me, when I was diagnosed my blood glucose levels were not that high and I did not have to report to the ER immediately for hospital admission.  Additionally, I was asymptomatic and was diagnosed on a routine high school physical.  However, I know what that girl was feeling as I was devastated, crying, and felt like my life was over.  There is no doubt that DM is a life changing diagnosis because it requires major lifestyle modifications, especially so for those who end up on insulin.

One aspect that saddened was the amount of patients who should have been seeing a psychiatrist but their parents refused to take them due to negative stigma.  This required my attending to wear multiple hats and be a psychiatrist which required a longer appointment time then was scheduled putting us behind schedule.  As time goes on more and more minor experience depression, ADHD, and eating disorders but due to their parents fear of what others will think they are not getting the right help.  This was especially true when I had a patient who was severely depressed and my doctor did not feel that she would be able to adequately treat her.

These 6 weeks did teach me some things that I would like to include in my future practice.  1. I want to have freeze pops in my office.

2. Leave appointment slots open everyday for people with last minute urgent cases.

3. Encourage the nursing staff to wear fun scrubs that would be entertaining for the kids.

4. Maybe keep some magazines in the patient room as you never know when they would be useful.

With pediatrics core and neonatology behind me I now await to start Childhood and Adolescent Medicine as well as  Allergy and Immunology later on this year.

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Bek Moody

ROLLING THE WAVES

my journey in this world

finding joy in everything

Redeeming Naptime

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As He Comforts Us

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