I must say I have had a wonderful career in medicine and pediatrics. Not only is pediatric medicine intellectually challenging, but it also has tremendous personal rewards. A day in the life of the pediatrician is filled with sore throats, injured ankles, ear infections, anxious parents, as well as new babies and teens getting ready to go off to college. My days are full of noise, icky smells, and crying children but also moments of great triumph and pride. Triumph when your doctoring skills are truly able to make an improvement in a child or family’s life, and pride when you know you got it right: you brought the combination of knowledge, insight, and communication skills together to diagnose your patient’s problem and resolve it.
With all this in mind, I read with great interest an article in the Academy of Pediatrics newspaper that boasted about how many young doctors are now choosing pediatrics as a career. Pediatrics is a hot specialty again. Imagine that. This year, young doctors filled 98.7% of pediatric residency positions (training programs after medical school graduation) despite the fact that, year after year, pediatrics is the lowest paid specialty in medicine. Additionally, more men are becoming pediatricians! What is going on here? Do these “guys” know something that I don’t, or does Generation Y have more wisdom than I realized? Could it be that the procedure based medical system I have known my entire career is changing to a more preventative, contemplative one in the near future? Move over orthopedic surgeons, meet the next generation of physicians who are skilled with the use of prevention and cognitive services Time will tell how this will work out and I will be watching with interest. Until next time.