Today I completed my first clinical rotation. What a challenging, humbling and incredibly fun experience.
Five weeks ago, I was assigned to a pediatric clinic in a small town in eastern Oregon. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was apprehensive about working with children – I have none of my own, and I haven’t spent much time around kids in the past (especially babies). Our pediatric unit in class was months ago, and I had long since forgotten the immunization schedule. Not being a native Oregonian, I had never heard of the town of Ontario, and I didn’t know anything about the community. The thermometer read 103 in my car as I traversed the state, brushing up on my peds knowledge with podcasts and anticipating a new adventure.
Fast forward to today, and I’m looking into the eyes of a 7-day-old infant. Turns out, I adore working with children. I’ve seen colds, sprains, strains, ear infections, and a few rare conditions; I’ve stitched, checked hips, and auscultated hearts. I’m happy to report that I didn’t cause too many tears or screams (although admittedly, I caused a few). It was such a privilege to learn from my preceptor, a brilliant teacher who never tired of my questions, or at least never showed it. I am so grateful to all the parents who allowed me to examine their children. It was uplifting to interact with patients with levity instead of the typical serious tone that many medical visits entail. I felt instantly welcomed into the community of Ontario, especially while working on a community outreach project with another medical student. In just over a month, I found that I love the field of pediatrics.
Next stop, Pendleton and on to orthopedics!