Alifiya of the class of 2014 writes about her placement at the beginning of the school year in pediatrics. She shares a lot of really interesting insights with us! I must also apologize to Alifiya who sent me this a couple weeks ago and I am just sharing it now!!! Enjoy :)
What LP did you do (i.e. family, peds, ER, EMS ride along, etc.)?
I did an LP in Paediatrics, it consisted of two weeks in General Paediatrics and two weeks in a specialized Paediatric Oncology clinic.
How did you go about contacting and arranging the LP?
During orientation week, the academic director of our program mentioned that she practices as a paediatrician; since I’ve always had an interest in Paediatrics I emailed her immediately about looking to gain clinical experience in this field. She was glad that I took initiative so early in the program and so she agreed to take me on for an LP.
What were the two main things you learned from this LP?
This LP was a great learning opportunity for me. Before doing this LP I was under the impression that working in Paediatrics mainly required the desire to work with children. However, one of the first lessons I learned was that Paediatrics involved working more with overly anxious parents as opposed to children.
My preceptor allowed me to take the patient’s history independently, through this experience I gained confidence in regards to patient interaction and also learned how to conduct specific birth and paediatric nutrition histories.
What did you wish you knew to help you in your LP? What did you wish could have been different?
I wish I had done this LP a bit later in the year. I feel that since I did it at the very beginning of the year I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been. Especially since my preceptor liked to ask a lot of questions I felt that I should have done a bit of more reading before going to the placements.
How has this experience helped you clinically, in class and/or in career decision making?
I was always interested in paediatrics and after this experience I am certain that I would like to pursue my interests further in both paediatrics and oncology through my clerkship electives.
Any other comments?
Overall, this LP was an eye opener for me since I now have a much better understanding of what the practice of Paediatrics entails. Also, through patient interaction at the Paediatric Oncology clinic I have developed immense respect for cancer patients and have emerged with a better understanding of not only the medical aspects of cancer treatment but also the social and personal impact it has on the patients and their families.