The last eight years as a medical student and now as a resident have been filled with timeless memories at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH), and as of yesterday morning, I’m now finished with all of my pedi rotations.
Over the four total months I spent at TCH as a PGY-3 and 4, I’ve administered hundreds of anesthetics in cases ranging from the placement of ear tubes and intrathecal chemotherapy to liver/kidney transplants and complex spine surgeries. I’ve even had my fair share of cases in the neonatal ICU where we basically sectioned off a portion of the unit and made it a hybrid operating room. 😯
I also found myself reading about rare genetic syndromes and pathologies while synthesizing the relevant anesthetic and perioperative considerations. Many previously incurable conditions now have safe and feasible interventions permitting these children to live well into adulthood. Fetal surgeries and congenital heart defect repairs are just two examples of how research and medicine have come together to improve the quality of life for our patients.
Aside from a staff of incredibly dedicated anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses, techs, and specialists, the bulk of my pediatric anesthesia training was certainly from the patients and their caretakers. There’s an indescribable trust parents/guardians place in a team of unfamiliar anesthesiologists, surgeons, and nurses to take care of their beloved children during such a stressful event. We always did our best to tailor an experience fit for a pediatric patient. Whether it was riding to the O.R. in a wagon, playing games on an iPad, inhalational inductions of anesthesia with bubble-gum smelling agents, or waking up to a cold Icee, I learned so much about caring for children… which might serve me well if/when I’m a dad some day. 😉
Thank you, TCH, for not only teaching me pediatric medicine and perioperative care, but for allowing me to learn more about the human condition – birth, development, and even mortality – in this wonderful patient population. 🙂