Friday, June 8, 2012


During my family and pediatric rotations I've noticed that adults, in our infinite wisdom, frequently underestimate the raw intelligence of babies. Frequently, babies will look at you like you're a complete baffoon if you make stupid noises and faces at them. The minds of babies and children are simpler, but they aren't stupid. Engage them on their level and they will respond. A simpler level does not a mean stupid level.

I love kids, and more often than not really enjoy working with them -- even the screamy ones. Having said that, in order to effectively work with a child who is less than about eight years of age, it is essential that one just comes to terms with the facts that 1) children will scream, kick, cry, and carry on and it's not really your fault and 2) one isn't going to break them--and this gets a lot of students. This is especially true of babies. Babies bounce, folks. I don't know this from personal experience, but their skeletons are, in the medical sense, rubberized. Shaken baby syndrome is a different story, but that's also a different cause. It is very hard to cause physical trauma to a baby in the doctor's office or hospital doing a routine exam. Older children--the ones strong and aware enough to kick and fight--are still almost impossible to hurt.

Regardless, there is a reason pediatrics is a specialty. Children have different needs and in many cases different anatomy and physiology than adults. I am definitely considering pediatrics in my future. Now if only it weren't for the psycho parents...

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