Momwithastethoscope's Weblog

September 18, 2009

Loving Pediatric Medicine – the anti-rant

Filed under: Office,pediatrics,positive medicine — momwithastethoscope @ 7:51 am
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Reason Number 18:  The specialty of pediatrics

In a typical week, I refer patients to lots of different specialists – ophthalmology, cardiology, pediatric surgery and ENT to name a few.  Some patients need more specialized examinations than I am trained to do, some need surgery, some need studies or lab work that is best ordered from the office of a specialist.  It is easy to be lulled into a triage mentality when some visits feel like your purpose is to identify and send to the appropriate next step.

Every so often, another physician will consult me, the primary care pediatrician.  At that moment, I realize pediatrics is indeed a specialty with specific knowledge and skills.  Part of my job is to put together pieces of a problem, and to see them as a whole.  So that the patient with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis needs an influenza vaccine when he is on medication that treats his JRA but also compromises his immune system. 

In my 120 bed local hospital, my colleagues look to me and my fellow pediatricians to make recommendations about care of children that effects the entire hospital.  When the call comes in at 2 AM for my opinion, my brain sometimes wants to say “duh, who doesn’t know that?”  By grace and experience, I don’t blurt that out.  Instead, I try to give information that is appropriate, and specialized.  In return, I’m reminded that caring for children takes expertise that I have earned and should use judiciously.

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