Here at NSU, we have this thing called the Interdisciplinary Generalist Curriculum (IGC). It has a fancy name, but it’s shadowing, plain and simple. You’ll get matched with a primary care physician, a family med physician, or a pediatrician. I was pretty excited to get matched with a pediatrician since peds was on my “maybe” list in terms of specialities I’m thinking of going into. You’re supposed to go to your IGC preceptor’s clinic/office once every three weeks, which totals up to 4 times a semester. You’re expected to stay at least 4 hours, but most physicians, including mine, realize that we get the point after just a couple, so they’ll usually let us out early.
In terms of what we get to do as students, it really depends on your physician. I have some friends who get to do full histories for all the patients and then report back to the doctor. Others don’t get to do anything and just follow the physician around, open doors for them, tell the nurse we need more dental referral forms in room 3, etc. I’m in the latter situation. The most involved thing I’ve done was probably when my physician (we’ll just call him Dr. Z) told me to place my stethoscope on this kid’s back and listen to both of his lungs.
Awesome, I get to do stuff!
I listened to the kid’s lungs. Dr. Z asked me if I heard a difference between the two.
Dr. Z: Okay, well he has bronchitis in his left lung, so you should hear a distinct difference from his left lung and his right lung when he takes breaths.
Now that my class has finished all 4 sessions of our IGC sessions, I thought it would be a good idea go over how the program has changed my perspective on the field of pediatrics, and anything else that I think is worth mentioning.
First of all, I’m crossing peds off my list. I like kids and babies but my God I cannot handle the parents. On my first day, there were these two boys that came in with their mom. The older one had ear pain in his right ear. Dr. Z checked him out and said that he can see pus and that he definitely has an ear infection. The mom then asked Dr. Z if he could take a look at her younger son too since he was complaining about a plugged up ear earlier that week. The kid (who’s about 4 years old) starts bawling and freaking out. Dr. Z is trying to reassure him that he’s only going to take a look in his ear when the mom grabs the kid by the shoulders and yells, “ARE YOU A COWARD!? DON’T BE A COWARD! LET HIM LOOK IN YOUR EAR! COWARDS DON’T GET TREATS. YOU’RE NOT GETTING A TREAT IF YOU KEEP ACTING LIKE A COWARD”.
What the heck? Don’t yell at your kid like that!
Other parents refused to get their kids vaccinated for things they should be vaccinated for because they didn’t want to “risk them becoming autistic”
Kid’s don’t know what’s going on. They depend on their parents to make sure they’ll be okay. But when parents make less-than-ideal health choices, I worry about their kids. I think I would be constantly frustrated as a pediatrician.
In that sense, the IGC experience was a good way for me to get exposed to that field. It’s a little disappointing that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would have, but at the same time, I think it’s important to figure out what you like. I guess peds isn’t for me!