Developmental Milestone Exercise

Today was my first day of outpatient pediatrics, and right from the get go, my attending had a mission to make me about a pediatric clinic visit from all aspects. She showed me the floor, made me follow a nurse (taking patient vitals, hearing/vision test, etc.), and then had an interesting assignment – to observe the kids in the waiting room and estimate their age based on milestones.

I sat inconspicuously at a desk while observing kids interacting with each other and their parents. Some were walking around (12 month milestone), others were passing objects from one hand to another (6 month milestone). The younger kids were cooing/babbling (3-6 month milestone) though it was hard to differentiate their speech from my vantage point.

Image: Pediatrics –

Truth be told, I had a cheat sheet in front of me. There are a lot of milestones, but what amazed me is how much one can tell just by observing. For example, a lot of the kids sounded “breathy” and congested – come to find out this was the reason why they came in.

My attending also has an incredibly methodical approach to patient encounters. In spite of being on my last core rotation, I’m still learning so many pearls for history taking and the subsequent physical exam. The joy of being a lifelong learner… one of the best parts about this career. 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll be interviewing to become a co-chair on Baylor Med’s admissions committee. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to share my enthusiasm for our wonderful program with prospective students who choose to interview at BCM in the upcoming cycle. *fingers crossed* 😀

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