Shadowing a Pediatrician

Kelli Ingram, sophomore biochemistry major, honors and pre-medical student:

I have been given an opportunity rarely granted to such a young college student as myself: through the Body & Soul program I have been blessed to shadow the footsteps of doctors who now walk the path that I someday hope to follow. While my medical knowledge is yet limited, I feel that I have learned more in the past few weeks of job shadowing than I could have hoped to learn in a classroom at ACU. Through observing a local doctor, I have learned diagnoses, doctor-patient interactions, pharmaceutical concepts, the importance of a good bedside manner, and how to share Christ while healing patients' bodies.

While I have shadowed once prior to this semester, my first day in the pediatric office blew me away. With the office seeing over 300 patients a day at that time, we were constantly rushing from room to room, urgently taking care of child after child. The doctor's great connection with the ill children amazed me, and I was quickly surprised by the range of illnesses he could treat. That first day opened my eyes to pediatrics in a way. The doctor used gentleness to care for babies that could not themselves explain their own symptoms, which seemed to me to be a puzzle to diagnose a person that cannot speak.

Soon, I saw the need for compassion and strength as he drew me aside to explain a special case of an adolescent boy who had a rare and generally undetectable immune disorder that years ago had caused chemotherapy used to fight his cancer to also break down his brain. His cancer is gone but he now cannot speak, is mostly blind, is confined to a wheelchair and suffers from severe scoliosis and thus largely decreased lung capacity. I learned quickly that cases do not work like they are supposed to; you take the consequences in stride and continuously offer strength and hope as best you can, leaving the outcome to God who is the only one in control.

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