Paediatrics is fun: you will never stop learning and you will never stop laughing. Somehow children always manage to bring out the child in you, even on the most challenging of days.
My journey to paediatrics began with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award back in Year 9, where as a volunteer tennis coach, I quickly realised working with children was an absolute joy. They tell you the truth, whether you like it or not. Building a rapport is more an art than a science, and each age group - from toddlers to adolescents - has its own set of qualities and needs.
Children tell you the truth, whether you like it or not.
Life isn’t always linear. So, rather than applying and getting into medical school then directly into paediatric training, I was successful on my second application to university and subsequently went down the road of GP training, with a view to an interest in child health.
However, through further experience in children’s medicine, I learned that paediatrics was the specialty for me and the #ChoosePaediatrics programme gave me the courage to apply. The RCPCH has worked hard to build a training scheme that is there to support everyone, no matter their training background.
Once I qualified as a GP in November, I went straight into paediatrics working as a Clinical Fellow in Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU) at Bristol Children’s Hospital. I hope to start paediatric specialty training soon.
In this specialty you are never alone... the teamwork and friendship are second to none, the opportunities within the specialty are endless and the children never cease to inspire you
Even in PICU, children tend to get better quickly, and on the wards this is the case even more so. I’ll never forget one of my first patients who was involved in a road traffic accident and required admission to intensive care and input from multiple specialty teams. As his condition improved, he was stepped down to the ward and spotted me one day walking past. He smiled, gave me a wave and as I came to say hi, he went for a fist pump. This became our daily morning ritual when I was on shift.
Every child has their own story and as a paediatrician, you are in the privileged position of being able to help shape their journey, often in their greatest time of need. Most of all, in this specialty you are never alone. Paediatrics has a true multidisciplinary team. The teamwork and friendship are second to none, the opportunities within the specialty are endless and children will never cease to inspire you.
Like I did, check out the #ChoosePaediatrics videos and the ongoing programme, consider an application to the speciality... and I hope one day we will work together.
Dr Kish Gandhi is a Clinical Fellow in Paediatric Intensive Care based in Bristol.
To get RCPCH emails for aspiring paediatricians, join the College for free as a foundation doctor or medical student.