OUT OF THE FIELDS
My Journey From Farmworker Boy To Pediatrician
Book Excerpt from the Inspiring Story of Ramon Resa, MD:
Excerpt #17 of 17
RAMON RESA DISCOVERS PEDIATRICS, KNOWS HE HAS FOUND HIS CALLING.
The moment I begin the pediatrics rotation, I know this is my calling. I feel a strong attachment with the babies I deliver. What I really want is to let someone else take care of the moms so I can concentrate on the babies.
I’ve always been around babies back home, and I’m not afraid of holding them or being surrounded by infants and children. I’m amazed that most of my fellow students find this difficult or uncomfortable. On the other hand, most of them come from very small families and have little or no experience with newborns or toddlers.
The complete reverse is true for me. At home, we always have newborns. In fact, it’s the norm to have two or three babies within several months of age of each other. They’re constantly climbing into our laps or crawling on the floor or wanting attention. I’m very comfortable in pediatrics
The pediatric rotation requires us to spend time in the clinics as well as in the wards. We’re told that pediatrics is mainly clinic work and that it can be a bit boring because most of the children we’ll see are there for well-baby checks and immunizations. We’ll seldom see a complicated child or even a very sick one, but the ward work is necessary so we can be sure we can identify more serious cases.
When I see my first outpatient client, I know I’m never going to be bored. I walk in and the mom is holding the cutest four-month-old baby girl in her lap. Little Millie gives me the biggest smile I’ve seen in a long time. I lay her down and she coos and laughs during the entire physical exam when I find her ticklish spots. This doesn’t feel at all like work, and I find myself wishing my time with her would never end.
My enjoyment is a complete contrast to my classmate Rob. He has already decided on cardiology as a specialty and is only fulfilling the rotation requirements in pediatrics. One day, I see him go into the exam room. He emerges a few minutes later with his tie askew, his shirttails out of his pants, and his hair disheveled.
I can’t help it. I have to see what kind of kid would make a grown man look as wild and crazed as a soldier leaving the battlefield.
I go into the examining room, introduce myself, and tell the mom that Rob had to leave but that I’ll take over. It turns out that Baby Tate, Rob’s tormentor, is only seven months old. In no time at all, I have him laughing and babbling…one more reinforcement that this is my calling.
I can handle taking care of babies like this for the rest of my life.