Job Title: Pediatric Physician
Type of Company: I work for a medical practice.
Education: BS, Psychology, Central Michigan University MD, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Previous Experience: I have been working as a general pediatrician in an office setting for the past twelve years.
Job Tasks: I work as a general pediatrician. I see the newborn babies when they are born in the hospital, and see them each day until they go home; I also see children up to 21 years old in the office for sick visits or well child/sports physicals.
I usually go to the three hospitals in town to see the newborns in the morning before I start in the office. I see newborns every day for one week a month, then my other partners take turns with their weeks to see the babies. I work part-time in the office, so I only see patients three days a week from about 8am-5 or 6 pm. In our office we can do some lab tests and we can do vision, hearing screening. I am also "on call" for the whole weekend about one weekend a month. That means if someone calls our office and needs to speak to a physician, I'm available. If they are really ill and cannot wait until Monday to be seen, I send them to an urgent care facility or the emergency room. When I am on call, I also work on Saturdays, seeing sick patients who cannot wait for Monday, in the morning hours. I make the rounds of the newborns on Sunday and check our lab to be sure there are no positives from throat or urine cultures that need to be treated with antibiotics.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love seeing the newborns. They are usually great patients. They usually do not cry very much, and the parents are so happy and interested in their care. I love talking with parents and calming their worries about an issue with their child.
I do not like doing pelvic exams on girls, nor do I like to deal with head injuries. Most illnesses with children, they recover completely and usually quickly.
Job Tips: Do lot's of volunteer work in different medical settings to see if you even like working with people and medical issues. If you can get a job in a lab or as a nursing technician that will help you decide if you enjoy that work. Follow a physician around for a few days and see what their schedule is like and if you would enjoy that. Medicine is very time-consuming, takes lots of schooling, and is often very tiring, and you can't count on exact times for the end of the day.
Additional Thoughts: To be a pediatric physician, you need to love children, work well with parents and families as a unit, and be prepared to talk a lot with parents. They ask many questions, need advice, need education. If I could change anything, I would do more dermatology education and practice more stitching (for cuts, lacerations) and circumcisions.
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