"The child is not a miniature adult." This post is dedicated to my favorite pediatrician, the one and only Dr. Susan Dumatol. :* You're the best, Ma! I got to live your life as a pediatrician for 4 weeks and it was definitely no walk in the park! Don't know how you do it, alongside taking care of two even wilder "kids" at home. Haha! Love you, Ma~!
It’s been four great learning-filled weeks in the UP-PGH Department of Pediatrics for the awesome Babablock 3. I’ve been so invested (and not to mention, exhausted) in my studies and work that I’ve once again neglected to blog. Hopefully, come the succeeding rotations (though I think it is very unlikely come our OB-GYN rotation), I won’t have to wait until the end to write about all my experiences.
My Integrated Clinical Clerkship (ICC) in Pediatrics started with a patient contact experience (PCE) and a week of lecturettes filled with high-yield information that would later prove to be useful come our stints in the OPD. Our PCE taught us just how difficult it was for patients to come all the way to the OPD, fall in line and wait, wait, wait, and wait in that extremely hot waiting area, all for a turn to get seen by a doctor and hopefully, get the cure and care they need and want.
Then, all the fun started come the second week!
This was it! Two years of endless studying in the classrooms has led to this – it was finally time for me to start seeing patients. How nerve-wracking. I was filled with a mix of excitement and anxiety. Dear Lord, am I ready for this? Well, ready or not, I had to face reality.
My three weeks at the general pediatrics clinic and the various sub-specialty clinic I had the opportunity to rotate in taught me so much. Really, it goes beyond the art of history-taking and physical examination. I met so many kids and their parents. I got to see a glimpse of the life they’ve lived, the problems they’ve faced and are currently experiencing. I didn’t just get to examine the children; I got to play a part, no matter how small, in his or her path to getting better. And at the end of the day, hearing your patients say “Thank you!” or even just getting a smile or a high-five from your kid patient fills you up with so much warmth, you forget all the fatigue.
On our orientation to the rotation, we were given a list of the Top 10 Most Commonly Seen Cases at the UP-PGH OPD and guess what? At the end of it all, I only saw 1 “common case” (acute gastroenteritis)! Guess our group really got to see some of the rare ones; then again, it is UP-PGH. The rare can actually become quite common here. Some of the cases we encountered include Chiari Type II Malformation, Aarskog Syndrome, Global Developmental Delay, Benign Childhood Epilepsy, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (in an adolescent!) progressing to what might be Metabolic Syndrome, and Subdural Hematoma.
An absolute part of this Pedia ICC experience is the playing and kuwento part! Some of the kids were really hard to keep up with! I was running out of games and questions to ask! Haha! Wild! Two of my personal favorites include a certain patient at the Allergy clinic who noticed we were struggling with our preceptor’s questions and told me, “May libro naman pala kayo eh! Bakit ‘di niyo basahin?” and the cute girl at the FMAB clinic who danced, sang and did all sorts of imaginative role-playing…up until she saw our preceptor, her doctor, and then came the association of needles and pain, and thus, the terrified shriek of “NO! DON’T WANT DOCTOR! WANT TO GO OUT! NO OUCHIE!”
I am immensely thankful for a chance to learn from the best consultants, the awesome residents and of course, the patients who truly were patient as they allowed us students to be the ones to examine them. This was truly a great experience!
One rotation down! But before that, ER duty tomorrow! Yep, they finally lifted the Code Black! Then, it’s off to OB-GYN! Yey~! I know it’s going to be toxic but it’ll definitely be worth it for all the learnings we’ll get! Can’t wait!