somewhere in the middle of the month, one of the other teams' residents mentioned to my resident that she was about to go admit a 'crappy patient.' it didn't register for me until a few minutes later that she used the adjective 'crappy' to describe her newest admit. understandably, crap is not a foreign substance to a children's hospital, so this is not surprising. but in this case, the resident was talking about the patient being crappy - an undesirable patient. the patient had a chromosomal abnormality, present from conception, that caused a constellation of medical problems.
it hit me later that day why pediatrics wasn't appealing to me. on inpatient pediatrics, all of our patients were as the residents' newest admit - complicated and suffering some type of long-term incurable illness - or incredibly uncomplicated. by uncomplicated i mean: has a cold and can't eat, so has to be admitted for IV fluids and will go home the next day. obviously this is a gross generalization, but surprisingly accurate.
there's a list of other things that don't appeal to me about pediatrics: working with 75% female residents, dealing with primarily non-verbal/non-history-giving patients, dealing with parents, being out-of-touch with adult medicine, and calculating medicine/fluid/calories based on weight of individual patients among others. then there's the list of illnesses common in a pediatric population, many of which have some connection to embryology and/or genetics (neither of which hold my interest much).
after all is said and done, i also realized about myself - surprisingly - that i don't like taking care of kids medically. i've always been someone who is passionate about understanding people and helping others understand things. enter - pediatrics. it's impossible to explain to a 5-year-old why it's necessary to place stitches on her lacerated chin. impossible. i tried. don't get me wrong - i don't expect every patient i ever have to understand. it's just going to be a much more plausible task in a 30 yr old vs a 3 yr old.
nonetheless, pediatrics has taught me loads about myself and how i relate to people of different ages. prior to starting pediatrics, i was certain it was my career path. halfway through, i'm certain it's not. disorienting? yes. exciting? double-yes. can't wait to see how much more 3rd year will shape my own self-awareness.