A post I wrote a while ago about why I want to do Paediatrics – it was featured on a blog called ‘Beyond the Tickbox’ but thats no longer there so I thought I’d publish it here.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Just like Daddy, a teacher, a ballerina, a gymnast, a doctor, a sportswoman. – Sophia, 8 years old
The list continues; from a very young age we are quizzed and questioned about our future career choices. For some the original idea sticks, but for most the idea changes. In medicine from the moment we begin the course we are quizzed and questioned just as we were when we were young. What kind of doctor do you want to be? Again, often many answers ensue, so many times we are told that we will change our mind over and over again. For me, Paediatrics has sat in my mind as the speciality I want to progress into ever since I knew I wanted to be a doctor.
Medicine has been a firm choice in my mind since the age of 13 when we had to think about what GCSE’s we were going to do; prior to that it had floated in my mind as an option but so had ‘Animator for Pixar‘, how things change. Paediatrics followed not long after, when everyone kept asking about what speciality I wanted to do, I was 13 (who know’s at 13). At the time my choice was largely based on my love of children; I enjoyed helping out with younger children in school, teaching netball, babysitting. But it was a decision made without much research and thought, it was based purely on ‘I like children‘, I was a child myself what did I know. However it stuck, and at the age of 14, when a good friend of mine became ill my desire to become a doctor and a paediatrician grew even stronger.
Chloe, has been a massive influence in my desire to study medicine, and even more so paediatrics. As much as I didn’t realise at the time, the idea of being someone who could help children like my friend was something that drove me. For a long period of time I wanted to become a Paediatric Oncologist, I wanted to be able to help, I wanted to be able to be part of the fight against cancer and be there with a smile on my face to support children and their families in their battle. When Chlo lost her own battle, this only drove me further into Paediatrics and I began to research the specialty further.
This continued into medical school, and as soon as I got here when asked ‘What speciality do you want to go into?’ paediatrics is the top of my list, however I am open to the idea’s of other specialities with further sub-specialisation into paeds. Throughout medical school my desire to study paediatrics has only grown, I am fascinated by the resilience of children and their positivity. So often children face challenges with a smile on their face as if nothing is wrong and they are not ill. It amazes me how children can go from being oh so poorly, to running around happily the next day. The challenges of communication with children is something that I revel in, I enjoy interacting with children as their equal. Sitting on the floor, playing with them to try and find out how they are feeling or what could be wrong is a skill I am desperate to master. Parents pose a further challenge within Paediatrics and is another aspect of the specialty that attracts me to it. You have to both interact with the child, treating them as your equal but also allow the parents to feel at ease in your knowledge and skills.
Finally, the sense of support and comradery within Paediatrics is something that makes me love the specialty further. During my time at medical school and in my endeavour to set up a Paediatric Society at my university has given me an insight into paediatrics through consultants and trainee’s; all of which have been nothing but supportive. A common theme from all I speak with.
I may have a couple of years to go, but I’m still positive that Paediatrics will play a role in my career in some way. Be that directly into the specialty, or sub-specialising through another specialty, my life will involve Paediatrics in some way.
“…children have the resilience to outlive their sufferings, if given a chance.” – Ishmael Beah