Early in my graduate school career I had an instructor who got me interested in pediatrics. She is one of those endlessly excited and excitable people who everyone knows is in love with what she does. Watching her treat patients is kind of entrancing. She was a major factor in why I didn’t quit school, she reminded me of why I wanted to do this in the first place. And throughout my education, I spoke with her a few times about suggestions for getting into pediatrics and she was incredibly helpful.
And then I did a 14 week pediatrics rotation. That I completely hated. It didn’t help that I was pregnant, contracting like a man woman and chasing around small children, which is not an ideal situation (please know that I know that there are worse things. All I’m saying is that the pregnancy made the clinical harder.). And it didn’t help that I had 2 different clinical instructors who made the affiliation a major challenge by perpetually contradicting one another. I was miserable. I didn’t want to leave in the morning to go to clinic, I wanted to go home early every day.
And so when I got an email from that professor offering me a part time position in her peds clinic, I paused.
Let me just say that I was totally beside myself with surprise and well, pride, for getting asked to join her clinic. It is a small, but renowned place, and my instructor had 95 students from my year alone to choose from, among many other qualified professionals. Yes, I’m bragging. I hate myself for it a little bit, but I’m doing it anyway. This is pretty much the coolest professional thing that ever has and probably ever will happen to me.
I didn’t initially know how to proceed because it was such an incredible opportunity (especially since the type of pediatrics work is not just mainstream clinical peds, it’s a cool combo setting that I’m not going to go into details on because it’ll make things very googleable and I’m not ready for that), but my feelings on pediatrics had been tainted by my past experience, so I was struggling with what to do.
She invited me to come out and watch a few sessions, so Eli and I spent 3 hours watching her treat kids. And I felt a familiar feeling. It was the way I felt about pediatrics my first few years of school. The way I felt after I did my first pediatric affiliation, the way I felt just before I started that last one.
We’ve talked regularly since then and I think I’m going to accept the offer. Basically I’ll be working for her, at least initially, one day a week starting in January, to pick up the slack while she’s teaching. It may also open the door to do some graduate level teaching, which is super cool, but also, it means I get to do some pediatrics and also keep my other job to do some adult work. It’s a fantastic balance. It’s not low stress because she is incredible at what she does and providing her caliber of care will be a big undertaking, but I think that kind of pressure with press me to be better and that’s always good news.
I’m nervous, but excited about this opportunity. I think it will be a great way for me to decide what age group I’m most interested in working with for the long haul. Both jobs will be pretty flexible, which is key, and I’ll still get to be home with Eli a lot, which is important to me right now. Some day I’ll work full time, but I’m not ready and as long as we can get by with me working part time, it’s what we’re going to do.
I know I don’t say it enough, but I really love what I do. I’ve only been working for a little over 6 weeks now, but I’m really enjoying my days at work. And with this new job I feel a little bit like I’m getting the best of all (professional) worlds, and, well, I’m just so very grateful for the opportunity.