Last year I wrote about Why February is Hard for Pediatricians. I think, today it is time for Why March is Fun for Pediatricians. Why? The air is warmer, the flowers are bursting forth, I put my veggie garden in…the fava beans are getting tall. Spring is indeed here. But these aren’t my answers.
In medical school we were all faced with the challenge of choosing our specialty. Some of us knew from the beginning, some struggled with the decision. For me there was never any choice but Pediatrics. My reasons were a mix of meaningful and perhaps less so. Besides finding a field of medicine that is interesting and exciting, to choose well you also have to consider what social issue you are willing to confront. I found it much easier to help people parent than to help the same people confront their smoking and drinking habits. I would rather be a child advocate than work to repair years of self-inflicted health damage. The less weighty reasons for choosing Pediatrics? Easy: kids smell better. And, they make me laugh.
So in this month of spring fever and madness it seems that the sillies have come out in my patients! Enjoying their antics has made me very happy with the choice I made!
- Last Tuesday one of my patients didn’t say much to me, didn’t answer my questions and drooled constantly; she spent our entire time together sucking on her toe.
- As one little 5 y/o left I said to him “Bye, handsome!” He turned to his dad and said “see Dad, all the girls think I’m handsome!”
- I had a well child check up with a 6 month old who giggled so incessantly every time I touched him that his parents and I started laughing with him; we laughed so hard we all had tears and I had to sit on my stool and take a break before I could focus on his exam again.
- Yesterday, one of my patients was too busy to let me examine her. she had taken out my entire herd of plastic dinos and a book on dinos and was matching the plastic ones to the paper ones page by page. It took a while.
- One father was irritated at his son who refused to let me look in his ears. The blackboard needed erasing…every single tiny bit of chalk needed to go. It was a slow process so, I gave up and got down on the floor to erase with him. When we were done we stayed there to deal with the ears.
What adult medicine doctor has this much fun with their patients? Then, there were some other kids….
- One girl on Thursday decked me full-fisted in the nose when I tried to look in her ears.
- Last week when I opened a boy’s diaper to examine him he looked me straight in the eye, smiled and peed full-stream ahead all over me.
Oh well, at least they smelled good?