Shadowing a Pediatrician
Luke Sorrell, sophomore biochemistry major, honors and pre-medical student:
This was my first-ever experience shadowing, and I learned a lot through the experience. I shadowed a pediatrician. One of the most important lessons he taught me is the importance of patience and self-control. As a doctor, especially a pediatrician, I will be faced at times with screaming, uncooperative kids and adamant parents, and I will need to have the patience and self-control to maintain my composure and attitude.
One particular instance in which the doctor showed great patience and self-control was with one mom and her several kids that she brought with her. One of the kids had ADHD and was very wild and disrespectful in the examination room. Though the doctor had to raise his voice a couple of times to this little boy, he was very patient with this large family.
Another important lesson I learned is the fact that pediatricians sometimes have to confront parents about issues with their children and parenting issues. As a pediatrician I will need to be able to recognize issues that may potentially affect the health of the child and confront the parent about them. Sometimes the parent may be receptive, but sometimes they may not be and may even get offended by my questioning of their parenting, but as a doctor it will be my responsibility to not only alleviate the problems that kids come into the doctors office with but also to make sure that they continue living healthy lives in a healthy environment.
The doctor showed this ability to confront parents with the same family mentioned above. After seeing the behavior of the child with ADHD, he confronted the mom about discipline at home. The doctor was not only concerned with the physical health of the child, but he was also concerned with his social health. The doctor wanted to make sure the child was being taught through discipline what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior so that as the child got older he would hopefully be grounded in the values and morals to make good choices.
I also learned a lot of what goes on behind the scenes in a doctor's office. I got to see all the paperwork that is done and the lab where they do their lab work. This experience has definitely increased my desire to become a physician and possibly a pediatrician. By going and observing a pediatrician do his job, I can really see myself doing and enjoying this. Overall, I had an awesome experience shadowing and learned some very important lessons, not only about being a doctor but also about myself.