Austin Parsons - Shadowing a Pediatrician

Over the course of the past semester, I had the most gracious opportunity of shadowing a local pediatrician in town. Every Monday at 1:30, I would head to a pediatrics office to shadow. This experience was an overwhelming positive experience for my career path hopes. Through shadowing I was able to understand a multitude of things about not only pediatrics, but the mentality of a doctor and what an exemplary physician upholds in his/her everyday practice.

The doctor I shadowed is a stand-up individual who is excellent to observe. Over the course of the previous weeks I was able to pick the mind of what being a physician is all about. Initially I was a little turned away from shadowing because I assumed that doctors had little to no time to mess with a hopeful medical student. Also I really hate being a burden on those who are trying to help me succeed in the long run. However the doctor was no reflection of my initial assumptions because he really seemed to care for my aspirations to enter the medical field. He was honest with me about what he thought I should be observing, but he was also excellent at including me in whatever way he could. For example, just stopping what he was involved in just to take an opportunity for me to learn something nifty about a condition made a huge difference.

The things I learned from my time shadowing was not only about pediatrics, but also about the process of getting into medical school and surrounding circumstances was a colossal benefit. I was able to deduce that there was so much more to being a doctor than just “getting the degree”. One of the best quotes from the doctor was that surrounding the idea of starting a family in medical school. The life of a doctor is rigorous, especially in medical school training, is there even an appropriate time for attempting to start a family. The doctor took the approach of “You’re not the only one in medical school, sure you’ll be taking the classes and stuff but your spouse is as much in medical school as you are, make sure if you do start a family to include them in the process and do not neglect them”. Advice like this was consistently available from him and this I will appreciate as I continue down my career path.

The most important tactic relating to medicine that I learned was patient treatment not only medically but emotionally and personally. Quite a bit of pediatric patients are those that the doctor remembered seeing in the operating room the day they were born. That opportunity is so special and treasured. He knew exactly how to treat patients the way they wanted to be treated, and watching this gave me a general idea of how to handle patient etiquette. Just as the doctor told me about his mentors and the reason he wanted to be a doctor, I will hold my experiences with him close to my heart as I continue down the road to becoming a doctor.

I really appreciated the opportunity to shadow. Although I am not sure if pediatrics is the road I want to continue down, I know for sure that I want to be a doctor. Any doubt I had before shadowing was rid of, and I will remember this experience!