Shadowing in Pediatrics

Jonathan Stites, sophomore biochemistry major, honors and pre-medical student

When I went to sign up for the doctor that I wanted to shadow, I secretly prayed that there would be a pediatrician on the list. Walking into the Body & Soul office, I slowly skimmed the list. To my astonishment, I saw the name of a pediatrician. I quickly signed up and excitement filled my body, but was soon quickly replaced with paranoia and doubt.

When I first decided I wanted to work with kids of some sort, I figured that pediatrics would be the perfect fit for me. Having been an intern at my church back home, I could not wait to see what working with kids would be like in a medical setting. However, after reading about pediatric doctors and their day-to-day lives, and hearing the experiences some of my friends have had while shadowing pediatric specialists, I was left with questions and feelings of insecurities. I told myself that I would not want to be any type of doctor other than a pediatric specialist of some sort, and, if I found that I didnât enjoy it, I had no back-up plan.

On my first day of shadowing, I found that my assigned pediatrician was out sick. His associate, another pediatrician, saw my predicament and asked if I wanted to shadow him. God obviously knew that this doctor was the one I needed to observe; this associate was the one who sees most of the Spanish speaking community, and I loved every minute of shadowing him. He sees patients from all types of backgrounds, people with money, those without, young mothers, older mothers, and everything in between. My first day shadowing was everything I could have hoped for and more.

I was also privileged to eventually shadow my originally assigned pediatrician. This doctor is a rare type of man. He listens and is engaged in the lives of his patients. He remembers small details about his patientâs lives that they casually mentioned six months ago at their last check-up. He brings laughter and humor into his work environment and creates an atmosphere that children feel very comfortable around.

These two doctors and my experiences shadowing them solidified my desire to want to become a pediatric doctor, and shadowing is now the highlight of my week.

ACU pre-medical and pre-dental students shadow doctors for real-life experience.
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