Kid stuff is the best stuff

So one of you just linked me to and while it’s hilarious, I have to admit my first thought was goddamn, there goes half my future blog entries.  It’s like I’m suddenly out of a job – they do the picture-with-relevant-caption thing better than I ever could.  UNFAIR.

Seriously though, it rocks, and you should bookmark the hell out of it.  (I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a 25 year old who freaking loves tumblr – in general – and this one especially.  Haters to the left.)

In other news, my pediatrics shelf exam is in less than 2 weeks, and I’m starting to stress a little.  Peds is much worse than internal medicine – you have to know basically all of internal medicine PLUS all of the super rare two-dudes-last-names-hyphenated-together syndromes.

For example:  embryology is the bane of my existence.  Trying to memorize which congenital heart defects are associated with which glycogen storage disorder is like playing the world’s most sadistic game of Memory.

And sure, normally I’d just flashcard them obsessively 6 hours before the test and be done with it – but I’m trying to actually learn this stuff for the long-term, because I’ve actually come to the shocking conclusion that I really like pediatrics.  Not outpatient (oh god, not well-child checks) – but I like sick kids.  They bounce back.  They’re interesting.  They tend to like my awesome corny jokes.

I keep hearing people say sick kids are too depressing, but I’ve got to be honest – adult medicine is more depressing to me.  Seeing people every day who regret life choices they can never, ever take back – whether it’s smoking and developing the COPD that’s controlling and ruining their life, or not controlling their diabetes when they were younger and ending up with multiple amputations…  or even just telling you about the marriage that lasted 50 years too long and led to a life full of regret?  It weighs on you.

It’s all deeply sad.  And there’s absolutely nothing you can do to change any of it.

… Maybe it just strikes a nerve in me.

I feel like there’s more you can do for kids.  .

On the other hand, I could easily be wrong.  It could also just be that I’m de-sensitized to garden-variety pediatric sadness.  I grew up with a brother who has mental retardation and multiple developmental disabilities, turned out to have a rare cancer that sent him in and out of the ICU over the course of 3 years, and had several of his best friends from Special Olympics die before their 20th birthdays.

… so.. there’s that.

It doesn’t feel depressing to me. I have no idea what it’s like to have a brother who isn’t developmentally disabled, who didn’t develop cancer, and whose friends are all still alive.  Sure, that doesn’t make it not sad, but it does mean I really feel a bond with the families of pediatric patients that I don’t necessarily feel with Internal Medicine.


But first comes the shelf exam.

5 thoughts on “Kid stuff is the best stuff

  1. I’m not even a med student (yet) and I found most of those captions & titles HILARIOUS. Especially the “when you get called on in class” one with charmander running away from the water.

  2. That’s awesome, AP. I’m glad you love peds because I’d love it if you were my kid’s dr. You could also consider peds neuro if you’re into that too.

    So for the peds shelf, one thing that was really helpful for me was going over the electrolyte panels associated with a variety of problems. Like DiGeorge Syndrome –> know catch 22. Or feeding your infant water. Or pyloric stenosis. You get the idea. That’s the kind of thing they ask you. Also, the peds shelf is notorious for the buzz words. “Happy Puppet” “Cocktail Personality” and whatever’s associated with Prader WIlli (I can’t remember right now), “cherry red macula” “leukocoria.” They also asked about the treatment for the various skin problems and salter harris fractures — i.e whether surgery was required for instance.

    Good luck!

  3. I did acceptably (>>80%ile, our cutoff for honors) on this and all of my shelf NBME exams, and that’s the only reason I feel competent to give advice.

    For peds: don’t stress. Follow the standard MS3 diet of UWorld + a review book (pretest or blueprints or high yield, whatever you like) + an extra question source if you have time (Kaplan or a book you didnt already use). Redo your wrong questions until you can explain, not just answer, them.

    As always, your mileage may vary – don’t be too swayed by hearing that X or Y or Z topic was on your test. Study development and review the OB neonatology chapters (e.g. in blueprints or similar) if you really run out of things to do, but I did those things and didn’t find them particularly helpful for my test. Take a peek at some drugs if you’d like.

    I found peds to be one of the most rewarding rotations I’ve had … and I’m not going into it … the attendings were amazing and I really jived with the patients so I hear what you’re saying.

    Best of luck, I’m sure you will kick butt. Make sure to do at least 500 questions before the shelf. -TS

  4. Hilarious images – thanks for the tumblr link.
    If I can give a bit of unsolicited advice in response to “but I’m trying to actually learn this stuff for the long-term”… one thing that I discovered during my training was that I need not stress too much about “learning for the long-term”. A lot of what that you “learn” is completely useless for your future patients, and as for the the things that are actually important – you will re-learn and re-learn them many times over. (For example I have learned how to read ECGs so many times that I can’t count, and I still refer to resources when I need to.) So there is plenty of time to really learn the things that really matter. Don’t worry about that as you jump through the multitude of hoops that you have to, to complete your training. Hope that eases your mind a bit and makes the studying less daunting!

  5. Hahaha totes agree on the whatshouldwecallmedschool point. This was honestly and thoughtfully written, maybe you should just submit this post for your residency application.

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