I was in Target a few weeks back and I saw these:

Med Peds

I presume these are pronounced Med Peds (with a short e).  I am a Med Peds physician (with the second e being long).  I don't wear these socks...although they do look cushiony.  For me, Med Peds means that I was trained in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and am board certified in both.

I chose Med Peds because I couldn't make up my mind.  I knew I was going to do pediatrics because I have always loved kids - that is why most people go into pediatrics.  But my first rotation in medical school was Internal Medicine, and by the end of it I was hooked.  I loved the interaction with the older patients and the diagnostic puzzles that internists often face.

Internists are mystified at why I would put up with "those screaming kids."  Pediatricians shudder at the thought of a medication list with over 4 drugs on it.  I like it all.  Here's why:

Newborns - That first cry is the best sound anywhere.  Life starts, held breaths are exhaled, anticipation is met.  For the pediatrician there it is also sweet because it means we don't have much work to do - no stabilizing or resuscitation needed.

smiling-baby-photoInfants - Between 2 and 8 months, they just are smile-factories.  I always tell parents how cute their kids are, and (with a few exceptions) I am always being truthful.  98% of the well-child visits are handling a healthy chubby body and getting a toothless grin shot at you.

Toddlers - Many of them hate me.  This age is the proverbial "screaming kid."  Still, they are full of energy and are developing like an opening flower - it is fun to see it blooming more each visit.  I always feel like I have won a great victory when I do my exam on a toddler without a scream.

scooby-doo Pre-Schoolers - I get to tickle these kids.  They laugh when I joke about peanut butter in their ears and are very fun to talk to - finding out what is going on in that little head.  They love our stickers, and appreciate the fact that I do an imitation of Scoobie Doo that is more than adequate.  I could make a fan club out of pre-schoolers.

School-Aged Kids - I don't see much of these children, as they are mostly healthy.  I love to tease the little boys about kissing girls or handing them a Barbie sticker and see them drop it like it is radioactive.

Teenagers - As long as they belong to someone else, I can usually get along well with them.  Or maybe that is if I belong to someone else.  I try hard to be someone who they feel comfortable around.  I have had a number of teenagers come in for anxiety or depression and the parents say I am the only one they wanted to talk to.  That is an honor.

Young Adults - Probably the group I see the least.  They rarely get sick and only come it for minor illnesses.

Parents - I like to share "war stories" with parents in my practice.   Much of the advice I give is generated from my own kids: "Don't do what I did...."  Some of them worry too much, but most of them are simply looking for reassurance.  I tell parents: "my job is to worry more than you do."

Middle-Age - These are people my age.  They are like me - with the same stresses and worries.  We all seem stressed-out.  I try to be honest and make them not feel bad that things aren't always how they want them.

Seniors - They are more grateful for their care than any group.  Certainly they are more medically complex, and I am always psyched when they are all "tucked in," meeting all of the recommendations and guidelines for good care.  I am a very important person in the lives of my elderly (much like pediatrics).  They know that I know that their #1 priority is giving them the best quality of life as possible.  They don't demand as much, but sometimes just want comfort.  It is an honor to give it.

How could I give up any of these?  I don't know what I would do if I had to choose.  A distractible mind requires constant stimulation and no monotony.

My job does that wonderfully.

I think it would be better if I got some of those socks, though.

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