We all know the kids are cute. The wise ones that say things well beyond their years, the shy ones that hold back their laughter even when you tickle them, and my favorite, the curious ones. I found that with the different types of kids, there are even more different types of parents. The ones that are probably too hard on their kids, or worse too hard on themselves, the ones that need reassurance, the ones that need a vacation. I realized as a physician, so much time is spent trying to care for the kids when often times, the parents need some attention too. I found myself really enjoying working with the kids but wanting to know more about their parents and how I could better connect with them. How can we give recommendations for the child when we don’t have a relationship with the person who literally rules their world?
I saw some really good docs who had this down pat. Who knew all of the parents and if they didn’t know them, could relate to almost anything, especially because they themselves had kids. But me? No kids, technically no job, and armed with only advice that I picked up from studying and watching others… It was way more difficult than it seemed. I struggled to pay attention to what I was even trying to ask when the room was filled with the pitter-patter of little feet and playful screaming. I was constantly exhausted by the fact that you can’t fool a kid. You know, you’ve always got to be on with them, faking the smile just doesn’t work. Knowing that adds to the struggle when your find the rumors about being sick are absolutely true.
Just 24 hours into my inpatient experience, I knew that pediatrics, while a great field that I would enjoy seeing in doses, isn’t for me. I missed adults. I missed the challenges of working around complicated schedules and using my motivational interviewing skills. I missed family medicine.