New Options

Reflecting on my pediatrics rotation, I must say: Kids are not so bad.

My rapport with patients had always been based on language -- information, verbal persuasion, and examples. On peds, I was forced to add to the repertoire, because language isn't an option with 18 month olds. But shiny stethoscopes are! And the Bert puppet. And if you want a kid to exhale, you can't beat giving them a pinwheel.

The children, for their part, were more reasonable than I expected. And they have flashes of insight that are simply stunning.

I recall a talk from a pedi neurologist, who was treating a 9 year old boy with cerebral palsy and a growing depression. The kid once remarked:

If I was for sale, I'd be free.

Damned if everyone in the audience didn't gasp.