I completed my Pediatrics rotation last week and oh man, was it a doooozy. Aside from seeing and treating snot-nosed, chunky-monkey style kids, I was exposed to a very different type of physician. Aside from the doctor, the rotation was interesting overall as I was able to act as an Intern and see patients independently and diagnose and treat. We had a couple of cool cases like Prader-Willi, HSV encephalitis, and an Inguinal hernia on a 6 month old female. But most of peds was seeing kids for well-child check-ups and cough/cold symptoms. As you can maybe tell, I lost a little bit of my rose-colored vision during this rotation. The hues of gray and black started edging into the background and I felt pretty jaded towards a medical society that accepts and negotiates with doctors that treat their patients and staff poorly.
When I was 25 and freshly returned to Seattle, I worked for an Ophthalmologist that was the epitome of an old-school asshole. Please excuse the language. He was a selfish tyrant and the staff and his patients basically feared him. It was a toxic environment to work in and since leaving that clinic I promised myself to 1) never become a tyrant, 2) be nice to my staff & pay them PTO and provide health insurance, and 3) never patronize the patrons. It is truly a bad sign when your patient’s are afraid of you. Peds rotation provided a similarly toxic environment. From the minute I stepped into this clinic I felt the weight of negativity emanating from the staff, quiet fear of the children when the doctor entered the exam room, and hushed discussions throughout the office. It was and stayed an eerie place to work. I am glad it is over, but still disturbed by the thought that so many patients are treated by this doctor and that the staff continues to work for him.
Let that be a lesson to us all: do not be a terrible person in any aspect of your life. Also, when you’re on peds, be sure to wash your hands a lot! I think this was, ironically, one of the rotations I did not get sick on, but my hands were dried and cracked by the end.
Now off to Inpatient Internal Med! 🙂