We love being pediatricians because it’s an honor to be a part of your family, it’s intellectually challenging, and it gives us a chance to teach. But mostly, we love to make people feel better.
We love not only when our patients feel better, but also when their parents feel better.
Parents feel better when we say:
Not strep throat. It’s a viral sore throat.
Not pneumonia. It’s a viral cough.
Not a broken foot. It’s an ankle sprain.
Not appendicitis. It’s constipation.
Not an ear infection. It’s fluid behind her ear drum.
Not cancer. It’s a lymph node infection.
In other words, our favorite diagnosis is “Not what you are worried about.”
Parents, including us, fear the worst when their children are ill. Some parents apologize to us when we give the diagnosis of “Not what you are worried about.” They feel they have wasted our time or their time. But this diagnosis is never a waste of time for anyone. It is a stress relieving, sometimes guilt relieving, diagnosis that we are happy to give. Too often we wish with all our hearts that we could give this diagnosis, but instead, we must confirm a parent’s fears.
So this Thanksgiving, we take time to be grateful for the diagnosis “Not what you are worried about.”
May you find lots of Happy in your Thanksgiving.
Drs. Kardos and Lai
©2013 Two Peds in a Pod®