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An old dog barks backward. OGDEN NASH 1902-1971 : CHOOSING PAEDIATRICS


After graduation, your choices of which personal direction to take are myriad. My strongest advice to you is to experience as many options as are available to you, and not to make a lifelong career decision too hastily or based on inadequate experience in your potential discipline. That is not to say that a subsequent mid-career change might not be necessary or desirable. A strong mentor can provide the wisdom that you may require at a critical signpost in your life. You will know your true ‘end game’ when you experience it.
Paediatricians must have the ‘paediatric gene’ to be able to succeed in a world in which your patient frequently cannot communicate what is wrong, who may pee in your right ear as you examine him (you learn quickly that this should not be a repeatable occurrence), and who comes with a significant family construct that provides the historical and medical history that are so essential in working through a difficult differential diagnosis. Each patient is not just a case of a thyroid disorder, for example, but a complete package with important familial, socioeconomic and environmental aspects that must be paid attention to.

In paediatrics, decision making is a shared responsibility that involves the parent or caregiver, and the medical professionals caring for the child. The parents of an ill child must have all of the information that they require to make an informed decision. Occasionally, they may make choices that they believe are in the best interest of their child, but these may be at variance with the care team’s recommendations. These situations require understanding and empathy with the parents, and may necessitate consultation with other colleagues for guidance in seeking a common resolution. buy antibiotics online – http://buy-online-antibiotics.com

Following my early days as a medical student, I left Winnipeg (Manitoba) for my three-year fellowship training program at Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, USA). I was following the advice of a mentor, Al Zipursky, that one should seek training from a different academic centre than your medical school to broaden one’s educational and life experiences.


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