Pediatrics: Treating the Little People

Disclaimer: The pediatrics course took place in the last block of my second year of medical school. And therefore, this course took place about a month before my board exam. Therefore, I tried to skip as many classes as I can. So please forgive me if I cannot provide as much details about the course as I did with the previous courses.

What is Pediatrics?

Anyways, now that the short disclaimer is out of the way, let’s talk about pediatrics. What is it? It is medicine for babies, children, and teens. So in this course, you will learn all about treating those little people. You can expect to learn about children’s growth charts, immunizations, cough, fever (watch out for Reye’s syndrome when giving children aspirin), and more.

If you are in the second year, you will most likely take clinical medicine (internal medicine). You would have already learned about cough, stomach ache, fever, and whatever other diseases children get. You are probably asking, “Why do we need this class?” Frankly, I do not have a good answer, but this could be the reason:

Treating children is different than treating adults. The bodies of children are still developing, so the anatomy is different. The normal ranges for different lab values are different. Drug doses for children are different.

Even so, lots of what you will learn in pediatrics overlap with what you will learn in clinical medicine.

pediatrics - little children

Doctors go into the field of pediatrics not for the money but for the patients. Pediatrics is one of the lowest paying specialties in medicine.

Pediatrics in My School

As I mentioned in my disclaimer in the beginning of this article, I skipped most of the classes. Since I wanted to dedicate my time study for the board exam, I teamed up with four other people and split up the class attendance and note taking. I basically only attended and took notes every 1 out of every 5 classes.

From my few attendances, I could tell that the professor is a very nice lady. The classes are not anything out of the ordinary nor are they extraordinary. I sat in class, listened to the professor speak, and took notes.

I was also lucky. I have said this about some of my previous classes, such as geriatrics and pharmacology, but my classmates were awesome. Some people passed out review notes they made to the whole class, which were very helpful. I basically studied from my group’s slides and the review notes and was able to do fairly well on the exam.

Like clinical medicine, I had to attend small group to discuss the cases. As long as you attend small group and score high on the exam, you will do well in the course.

How to Succeed in Medical School Pediatrics?

Overall, I did well. I high-passed the course. Pediatrics course was not hard. The only tricky thing about this course is that since it is so late in the school year, you will have more pressing concerns, mainly studying for the board exam.

It is easy to disregard the course, especially if you have been skipping classes. But know that the exam is cram-able!

What I would suggest you do is to skip as many classes as possible. Team up with a group of people and share your notes so you can skip class more often. For me, reviewing the slides was much faster than going to class. And if you luck out, some cool kids in your class will make awesome review notes to share with you.

I was not able to find practice problems for the pediatrics exam, but if there are old exams floating around, it would be wise to do them.

Study Tips

  • skip class
  • study from lecture slide or review sheet
  • do practice problems (if possible)

Additional Medical School Pediatrics Resources

There is no additional resource I would recommend. Instead of browsing through pediatrics books, I would be studying for the board exam. As long as you study something, you should do fine.

Hey, you! Do you want to know how an accountant, without a science background, made it through medical school without any difficulty? Do you want to know how I memorized a sea of information without cracking my skull in half and dumping the books into my brain? No, I did not slave away all night studying in the library either. If you want to know my complete study system, check out The Secret of Studying.

This article is part of the How to Survive Medical School series. Click on the link if you want more tips and hints about surviving academic hell.

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