Child Abuse Doc: We Often Wish for a Different Explanation [medpagetoday.com]

 

By Antoinette Laskey, MedPage Today, December 1, 2019

I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. I also always knew working with children is what brought me the most joy. Finding the subspecialty of child abuse pediatrics was not something I had anticipated.

In medical school, I had the opportunity to work with a child abuse pediatrician when a child was brought in for medical care after being sexually assaulted. We examined the child, calmed the obviously distressed parent, and talked with the investigating detective and child protective services worker. Afterward, my clinical instructor sat down with me to help unpack what I'd learned.

I asked her if this was a typical day in her world, and she said there is no typical day. Some days were spent seeing patients who had been injured badly, but it was an accident. Other days were spent teaching, but not necessarily the typical teaching that academic pediatricians were used to. Instead, it was teaching non-medical professionals to understand complex medical concepts and how to better respond in a coordinated multidisciplinary fashion to child maltreatment.

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