Does your child say that they would like to be a doctor someday? The careers in the medical field are endless, as there are so many types of specialty fields. Recently, I interviewed a close friend, Dr. Sean, who is a Pediatric Anesthesiologist.
There are many types of physicians. Dr. Sean works in pediatrics as an anesthesiologist. A doctor who works in pediatrics, may see anyone that is age 21 or younger. They may also see patients with special needs beyond that age as well. They provide medical care for infants, children and adolescents. An anesthesiologist is a doctor that specializes in medicines that need to be administered to keep a patient comfortable during procedures that would likely cause intolerable pain.
Here’s a glimpse into Dr. Sean’s profession as a Pediatric Anesthesiologist:
Q: What kind of physician are you and how would you describe your profession?
A: I’m currently a pediatric anesthesiologist, as well as an attending on our acute pain and regional anesthesia service. I provide anesthesia care for pediatric patients undergoing procedures or surgeries in which they need to be asleep for. Ultimately my job is to give children the best naps of their lives.
Q: In your own words, how would you describe your job to a child?
A: My job is to keep you asleep, comfortable, and safe during your procedure. I’ll be watching you the entire time, while you nap.
Q: Growing up, what was / were your favorite subject(s) and why?
A: My favorite subjects were always math and science because they came easy to me. Also, I found the information extremely interesting and was able to ask many questions in search of answers.
Q: How and why did you choose to be a doctor and specifically, why did you choose to specialize in anesthesiology? Do you have a specific memory or event that happened in your life that helped you choose your career path?
A: There was no single moment when I realized I wanted to be a doctor, it was a slow evolution over time with my interests and the idea of helping people. Ultimately I chose anesthesiology because I enjoyed the physiology and pharmacology aspects. Many think anesthesiologists do not like patient contact but I disagree. It’s extremely challenging to gain the trust of patients (and their parents), within minutes of meeting me. Patient’s do not get to choose me, like they do their surgeon. Therefore, I must work hard to make them comfortable.Q
Q: What did you study in college? Do you feel that your studies in college are helpful to you in your career now? How or why? Did you have a favorite class and why?
A: I received my bachelors of science in zoology from Miami University. At that time, Miami did not offer a basic biology degree, so this was the next best thing. Their rationale was it made you competitive for medical school because it was a “different” major. Afterwards, I attended medical school at the University of Cincinnati.
Overall my studies helped me to get where I am today. All of the classes were valuable as they provided a foundation for medical school. My favorite classes were actually the humanities where I learned more about society and people. These classes continue to help me today when interacting with patients.
Q: In your opinion, what are some of the most important attributes or characteristics that a doctor and / or more specifically an anesthesiologist, must have to be successful?
A: I think the most important attribute is the ability to listen. Medicine is challenging due to time constraints and production pressure. Ultimately, the patient doesn’t care where you went to medical school or trained, they care how compassionate you are when you are with them.
Q: What is or has been the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Everyday, I enjoy being able to interact with children to calm their fears and to safely deliver them back to their parents when the operation is over.
Q: What is or has been the most challenging part of your job?
A: In pediatrics I have two “customers”, the patient and their parents. Figuring out how to manage both groups expectations can be challenging.
Q: What was the most fascinating part of your medical school experience?
A: Working in the cadaver lab and actually being able to touch and learn about every part of the body. To know someone gave up their body for my learning is remarkable.
Q: What is one of your most fun, exciting or even embarrassing memories in your profession that has happened to you?
A: My favorite part is being able to play at work on a daily basis just to make a child smile.
Q: What would be your advice to a child that has aspirations to become a doctor someday?
A: You will miss out on a lot of fun experiences your other friends will have, but ultimately it’s worth it. Work hard but still have fun along the way.
Q: What would your advice be to parents and educators to encourage children that are interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines?
A: A great doctor is always questioning things and ideas. Foster this in your children.
Thank you so much to Dr. Sean for allowing me to interview him for my blog!
Readers, please let me know what you think of these STEM career interviews and if you have a specific profession in mind that you would like to learn more about! You can leave me a note here, on my social media pages or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.