Advice for the wards - Pediatrics

I did my pediatrics rotations with my best friend Alexis and what a dichotomy! She is the most nurturing human being I have ever met. I have naturally frigid hands making me the enemy of every human baby. My favorite part of the rotation was watching her realize her life's calling. We worked q2day call, and she beamed at the start and end of every day. I spent the majority of my day hiding in a corner studying for the exam. She spent every second she could with her patients. The kids would cry out for her. Seriously. It was crazy. She's 8 months into intern year at Columbia Peds (yep, she has a lot to do with my NYU ranking), and she was sweet enough to share this advice for the medical students on the wards.

Advice from a pediatric resident intern for medical students to do well and not annoy residents on wards.


For third year medical students:

How to do well:

  1. "Asking lots of general pediatrics questions is great. Things like - what vitals are appropriate for age? How do you recognize respiratory distress? What challenges do premature babies face that full terms don't? How do you ask teens about sex and drugs?
  2. Pick up patients and get to know the families really well.
  3. Practice as many physical exams on as many different age ranges as possible. There are so many cool exam findings that are normal and abnormal."

How to not annoy the residents: "Don't hover around if you have nothing to do while we are working. If there's nothing to help with go and play with the kids. We don't have time to do that and it can be very therapeutic and make the rotation more enjoyable."

How to figure out if pediatrics is right for them: "What I always tell my students is that you have to choose a specialty based on patients. Figure out which patients you can't live without treating because this is what keeps you going through hard times."


For fourth year medical students

"This you your chance to see what it's like to be a doctor and prove that you can push yourself. Carry as many patients as an intern and formulate plans by yourself before talking to your senior resident. Don't just manage patients. Do your best to teach the third years as well, this makes a huge impact on your team and sets you apart from everyone else"