Pediatric Clerkship Tips

My sites and thoughts

I never thought I would like pediatrics, but I really enjoyed my experience with children. They make everything more fun. I did not mind interacting with parents either. On a different note, it is really nice to have limited to non existent past medical history and medication list. So I have seen really interesting cases, which I would not have minded seeing more. However, the bread and butter of pediatrics was basic pulmonary during my experience, which I can't personally see myself doing for life. 

General Tips

  • Following paper works was a big part of residents' daily jobs. Residents really appreciated any help with making appointments with primary care pediatricians, acquiring any medical records from outside facilities and following up with consults etc. 
  • Respiratory infection and reactive airway diseases were a big part of pediatric experience. Knowing management of them early will serve you well in the clerkship.  
  • We as medical students never had much going on during the afternoon. Looking back, I don't think I utilized this time well. Residents usually didn't give specific instructions, but did not release us for the day either. I think instead of just wandering around the hospital waiting to be let go, it is important to follow up with your patients and update your residents on them. Usually nothing is new, but sometimes you might find something new before anyone else, which makes you look good. Afterwards, you could always offer to see new admissions. Benefits of seeing new admissions is that you can follow the patients the next morning, which saves time. You can also read up on other patients on your service and learn about them. I guess my general point is you should find something to do for yourself for the team

Study resources

  • BRS pediatrics: is a comprehensive pediatrics book that I did not read. Looking back, I wish I read this book instead of other resources I have used. I honestly do not think there is a replacement for reading in learning medicine in general.
  • Case files: I read a few cases and gave up. The explanations were too general without emphasis on high yield content.
  • Pretest: I did the entire book early in the clerkship. I initially thought it was a good way to expose myself to a larger volume of content. However, I don't think it was a good resource to study. The book missed the point on high yield contents. I would not mind skipping this all together. 
  • Uworld and Kaplan Qbank: Uworld covers the basics, but it was not enough. It needs to be supplemented with a solid book. Kaplan was way too detailed for no reason. I would not mind skipping Kaplan for pediatrics. 

Be sure to study

  • Developmental milestones. diagnosis and differential diagnosis for developmental delay
  • Vaccination schedule, management of exposure in unvaccinated or immunocompromised, and contraindication to vaccination
  • Infectious disease and related antibiotic treatments 
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Emergency medicine 
  • Pediatric cardiology 
  • Basic adolescent medicine 
  • Basic general medicine