Day in the life of
Pediatrician – Dr. Leann Poston
I was in a group private practice for about 10 years. The schedule was four full days, one evening and one Saturday morning per month. We were on call about one week out of four. I saw about 30 to 40 families per day.
Most practicing pediatricians have responsibilities in three areas, taking calls, doing morning rounds to see healthy newborns, and working in the office.
If you join a larger practice, you will take calls less often, but you will be busier when you are on call. Frequently there is a nurse who screens the calls and you get the ones that pass through that screen. The pros of taking calls are that you get to continue to manage your own patients after hours and make decisions about their care. It really helps build relationships with families. The drawback is that it cuts into your off time and therefore your own family time. It used to be more cumbersome, but many pediatric groups have hospitalists that see children in the hospital and nurses who take parent calls.
The best part of being a pediatrician is working with families and watching children grow up. Rounds in the morning is when you examine any newborns for the practice. The parents are happy and excited and the babies are generally very healthy, so I really enjoyed this time.
The drawbacks are that sometimes the amount of time rounds take is unpredictable and you can get behind schedule, which can be stressful for everyone. Sometimes you see a very ill child and as a parent and pediatrician you worry about whether they have a serious illness, but luckily this does not happen too frequently.
The other con of pediatrics is that some people find general pediatrics somewhat boring because of the number of well child visits. If you like families and working in a generally happy place, pediatrics might be for you.