Shadowing in Pediatrics

Lauren Peters

This is my second semester as a member of the Body & Soul Program, and I can honestly say that it was even more beneficial than the first semester. I had the opportunity to shadow the same pediatric physician I shadowed last semester, Dr. Rachel Anderson. This allowed me to develop a stronger relationship with Dr. Anderson and improved the way I shadowed her. Since I am more comfortable around her now (after shadowing her for almost an entire year), it was easier to ask her questions about the things I see in the patient rooms (or other questions about being in medical school, becoming a pediatrician, and medical questions that I have been pondering throughout the week). Shadowing Dr. Anderson has not only been incredibly beneficial to me, but it has also been such a blessing. Everyone who works at Abilene Children’s Medical Association knows me and talks to me as their equal. I am not just a sophomore undergraduate student at ACU to these women; I’m Lauren, a future doctor who is willing to learn more about the field I wish to be a part of.

During this shadowing experience, I learned (and saw) many interesting things.  I saw a child who had pituitary dwarfism, and Dr. Anderson explained how that can occur and how it specifically affects children. I also saw how children’s weight and height could become stunted due to lack of milk as an infant or genetic history. I saw a patient that had a wellness checkup after being born at home (on accident). I learned about diaper rash and how it can lead to yeast infections. I saw teenagers with fatigue, ADHD kids responding well to medication, and many other things. Every week I was there, there was at least one incredibly fascinating, out-of-the-ordinary case compared to the “normal” wellness checkups and sick visits. Like Dr. Anderson said the first week I shadowed her, “If you want to work with infectious diseases, Family Medicine is the way to go.”

While shadowing Dr. Anderson, I have begun thinking about the possibility of becoming a pediatrician instead of an anesthesiologist. Seeing the way she interacts with patients and their guardians is inspiring. She is always willing to do everything possible to make sure her patients receive her full attention and get the medical treatment they deserve. The way she provides care with such genuine concern is how I hope I can treat my future patients.