Growing pains

What is the ideal age to switch from seeing a pediatrician to a physician ?This has been a sore point   and has led to heated debates  among my colleagues from both the specialities.We ,the humble pediatricians , feel that after the age of 12 children can be seen by GPs or physicians.I find it amusing to see  strapping   boys with acne and moustaches  waiting  in the reception  area teeming with  kids  of different age groups.Many of them are embarrassed to be seen  by their “baby” doctors but are dragged to our side by the parents.Their reasoning is  very simple-Doc,you have seen him/her from day one,can’t you see them  for some more years? Wish we get an   adolescent medicine   specialist in my hospital  .Personally I  dont want to deal with teenage issues.  It is  nice to see  these children grow into confident adults but I  don’t want  them as my patients.I am happiest when I am with my toddlers and newborns.

Baby talk

In my profession what I find most challenging is  getting a proper history from the patients  or should I say parents  . They expect you to make a  proper diagnosis with incomplete and sometimes bizarre medical histories. Most do not remember the  medicines they are administering diligently with or sometimes without consulting a doctor. The hapless medicos have to try their best to fill in the gaps. Most of the antibiotics are dismissed as “those white powders which you have to make up with water” and all cough/cold medications are   “tonics.”  I am not dealing with illiterate villagers, most of the parents are English speaking professionals. It is quite a task  and sometimes I feel that  I have to be a medical detective to unravel the mysteries. If a kid is having a fever, we have to know the duration and associated symptoms. It could vary from 1 day to “many” days and then I have to choose. Also, there are many who tend to exaggerate-a mild viral illness is presented as a  complicated syndrome with mindboggling symptoms. Some may bring in imaginary complaints   just to get medicines. Another type of parents are those who keep thick files of their tiny tots documenting each and every cough, sneeze and what have you. So when I ask what is the complaint, they hand over this file expecting me to go through each page and decipher those scribbles-oh, yes, most doctors have horrible handwriting. Sometimes I wish  that my patients  come to me on their own without their smart  parents and their voluminous medical records,


Travel woes

Do you belong to that   group who can just take off on their own to any place of their choice or are you someone like  me  who  like to travel with at least one person ?Though I am not a socially challenged person, large group  of total strangers unnerve me and I had avoided  such trips for a long time.I have considered solo travel but somehow havent yet  accomplished that in the true sense.There was a Singapore trip 10 years back  but I was staying with a friend and explored  the city  with some of her friends.But   it was thrilling to  travel to a new place and go   around without a preset  itinerary.

After that most were with friends.Of late it is getting a wee bit difficult  to  find someone to go with you.One must have someone  with  similar interests and drive.It is not easy sharing your space with others..One of my friends  feel that a couple should travel together  before marrying as this is the best way to get to know  each other.Travelling together can be really challenging.

Presently I am looking at a  winter trip to the land of Seven Sisters.Should I go solo or  start  calling up friends ?