Medical school appeals to students with a wide range of interests, including those who like working with children. Many physicians have developed rewarding careers combining medicine and caring with extremely young patients—they are pediatricians.
Not everyone is cut out for a career as a pediatrician, but it’s a terrific option for those with the appropriate attributes.
You are patient
Young patients frequently have short attention spans and will squirm if any vaccines are required. Dr. Amy Shriver, a pediatrician at Blank Children’s Hospital and the medical director of Reach Out and Read Iowa, believes that when dealing with everyone in the room, physicians must be empathetic.
“We must continually and vigilantly concentrate on being nonjudgmental and patient with children and families,” she suggests.
You are a natural communicator
Keeping children healthy is a collaborative endeavor that includes parents. They frequently need to express a great deal of information to the adults in the room.
“I find that more than half of my job is giving counsel and advice to parents,” Dr. Shriver says.
Remember that excellent communication entails more than simply speaking. Dr. David Hill, hospitalist pediatrics at Goldsboro Pediatrics, emphasizes the importance of listening and making detailed observations.
You are a lifetime learner
Being a competent doctor necessitates dedication to lifelong learning. Medicine is continually changing as a result of new research and healthcare technologies. States also have stringent continuing medical education requirements.
Pediatricians are especially responsible for remaining current on all issues concerning children’s health. This might involve concerns with child development and mental health. Pediatricians must also comprehend how different age groups’ health problems are.
You are a child wellness professional
Children rely on adults to advocate for them since they cannot always stand out for themselves. By participating in outreach activities and helping to change public policy, pediatricians may make a significant difference in the lives of their patients.
“Pediatricians should be aware that by collaborating with groups in their communities, they may deliver better services to children and families,” Dr. Shriver adds.
You have empathy with other
Empathy is especially vital for pediatricians who care for the most vulnerable patients. According to a 2020 research, clinicians who demonstrate honesty and empathy in interactions with parents amid life-threatening situations, such as announcing the baby’s name, are regarded more highly. You must meet families wherever they are.
“Emotional reactivity is critical,” adds Dr. Hill. “If you don’t feel like you can dependably read people, this job may not be the ideal fit for your skillset.”
You have opinion
While some physician jobs are more specialized, general pediatricians seek to keep all children healthy. Dr. Shriver believes that general doctors must maintain perspective and be aware of all the things that might influence a child’s growth, development, and overall well-being. Considerations include economical, educational, cultural, and racial factors.
Dr. Hill further emphasizes that physicians who are parents must recognize that their own families may be very different from those they see on the job.
“It’s easy to exaggerate your own experience and forget that other children’s experiences might be extremely different from your own,” he adds. “Keep in mind that different families encounter a variety of obstacles.”
You pay attention to details
Young children frequently struggle to convey their feelings. This might be because they are annoyed, agitated, or lack the necessary words. In such cases, being able to detect nonverbal clues is critical.
Pediatricians must also be able to recognize when anything is out of the ordinary.
“It would be simple if pediatrics were simply eared infections and colds all day,” Dr. Hill says. “However, the difficult aspect is distinguishing significant pathology from everyday disease without missing the unusual stuff.”
Being a competent pediatrician necessitates a particular set of attributes as well as technical abilities, which can only be obtained with the proper education and training. If you’re thinking about becoming a pediatrician, it’s time to start researching medical schools.