Clinicals are more than a school requirement–they are a chance to explore different specialties and discover the one you want to spend your career practicing.

After moving from country to country and exploring different careers, that is exactly what our July Photo and Blog contest winner, Amira, did. After just one rotation, she found her place in pediatrics. Read her full story below!

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In Pediatrics, I Belong

While growing up, I did not feel I belonged anywhere fully because I lived in multiple countries. I spent my early childhood years in Libya and my adolescent to adulthood years in Malaysia and the Philippines. When I started my medical school journey, after working in the corporate world beforehand, I finally felt a sense of belonging, although still not fully because I was unsure about what specialty I wanted to pursue.

I, however, always loved working with children so I decided to do my first clinical rotation in pediatrics in one of the liveliest cities in the world. AMO made the process very convenient for me by providing all the necessary support.

My experience at Bayside Pediatrics was nothing short of incredible to say the least. I entered the clinic on my first day anxiously not knowing what to expect but I was greeted with the warmest smiles and I instantly felt at home.

I was shown around the clinic to orient me on the consultation and triage rooms by the kindest team. I was then given access to Amazing Charts and was briefed on how to navigate it. I was also immediately trained on how to conduct the ages to stages developmental interview via phone call for pre-visit screening of our patients. Later on that same first day, I was tasked to follow the precepting physician and see patients, which was a very exciting experience.

My day-to-day tasks with patient interactions involved charting the chief complaint, HPI, and other relevant medical, social, and family history in addition to assisting the precepting physician with the laboratory requests and in-house rapid testing. I also had the opportunity to carry out physical examinations and vaccinations. All of these were crucial foundational skills for a second year medical student like me, making me appreciate and enjoy the rotation even more as the days passed.

The age group of patients that came into the clinic ranged from newborn to adolescent, while the cases ranged from wellness check-ups to consultations for sickness. There was always something new to learn everyday, and the precepting physician was very patient in explaining the diagnoses and management of each case, with additional in-depth lectures on a weekly basis.

Just when I thought the rotation could not get any better, I got to meet follow-up patients who have gotten better after their first consultation, and that experience gave me a sense of fulfillment that I would like to continue practicing. It showed me how meaningful primary care can be because I get to take care of patients in a long-term setting and see them grow into adulthood.

I left the rotation not only with improved clinical skills and knowledge, but most importantly with so much love, passion, and enthusiasm for pediatrics. It is after this rotation that I realized — in Pediatrics, I belong fully.