I’m not particularly looking forward to my pediatric surgery rotation.
It’s not that I don’t like kids, I actually do (well, when they aren’t behaving like banshees). I’d even like to have one or two of my own one day. It’s not that the diseases are uninteresting. Congenital and childhood diseases are pretty fascinating, because they represent the intersection of nature (genetics) and nurture (development within a given environment).
Kids are like cute, funny, little test tubes.
Honestly though, I couldn’t enjoy outpatient pediatrics. A waiting room full of sniffling, scared children isn’t very appealing to me. Well-child visits and routine childhood illnesses are kind of boring.
Inpatient pediatric patients are incredibly complex. But that’s not the issue I have with them. No, the problem is that the interesting kids are the heartbreaking ones.
Seeing them stuck in a hospital ward is difficult – you begin to imagine them happily playing at home with their friends and loved ones, where they belong. Sometimes, they’re too sick even to cry when they’re in pain. They just look up at you with pleading eyes, hoping you won’t hurt them even more.
But unfortunately, no amount of wishing will restore them to good health immediately. And sometimes, no amount of care can cure an innocent little munchkin.
So that’s why part of me would almost prefer to sleep-walk through the next few months.