A Pediatrician’s Year in Review

It hardly seems possible that I am writing my second end-of-the-year post. Here are a few of many highlights from my life as a general pediatrician. Favorite parental Freudian slip: A visibly frazzled dad came to the office after picking up his son from pre-school. His son had developed a fever while at school that day, and his dad wanted him evaluated. During my exam, I asked if his son had any significant medical history.

He replied, “Oh, yeah. He has had his tonsils and gonads taken out.”

“His what?” I asked.

The dad blushed and corrected himself, saying, “His tonsils and adenoids. My bad.”

Favorite chief complaint for an urgent care visit: “We just came in to see which shoes Dr. Natasha is wearing today.” Fortunately, for my patient family, they were fabulous.

An amazing trip: I had the honor of being one voice representing physicians involved in social media at a conference at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. As a doctor, walking through the halls of such a historic place of mercy and healing was sobering. But, being among giants in the field of healthcare social media could not have happened at a more perfect place.

Favorite quote from a pre-teen: A young man was complaining that his fifth-grade health education class was going to include the “disgusting video about girls”. I asked why he was not looking forward to watching the video.

He said, “The boy video was just drawings. I heard the girl video shows real pictures. That’s gross.”

In a jesting tone, I replied, “Well, maybe girls are more complicated than boys. What if you need to see the real pictures to learn best?”

“More complicated...?” he repeated, while extending his right arm and pointing his index finger. He carefully drew 2 chest-high circles in the air, and punctuated each circle’s center with dramatic flair.

“What is so complicated about girls? Even I can draw them... All they have is circle, circle, dot, dot!”

Celebrations:  A 4-year birthday in February. A 1-year birthday in May. New babies and graduating seniors, nearly everyday.

A fun clinic moment: I happened to be wearing shoes that looked very similar to ones being worn by a beautiful and smart 3-year-old patient. She was impressed.

News stories of the year: Measles in Kansas City. The glorious recovery of Gabby Giffords. Wakefield being outed as a fraud. Rear-facing until 2. HPV vaccination for boys. Steve Jobs.

Most popular blog posts of the year:

Thanks for all the patients and families who come through my door, and share their lives. I learn from all of you every time we meet. Thanks to my office staff and wonderful nurses who help me get through my day. Love and gratitude to my husband and family for another wonderful year together.

Signing off until 2012. Have a great Holiday season and a fantastic New Year celebration. Cheers.