• Question: is it more upsetting and emotional being a doctor to children?

    Asked by elicia to Thiloka on 11 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Thiloka Ratnaike

      Thiloka Ratnaike answered on 11 Jun 2019:

      Hi Elicia, this is a very thoughtful question because you are considering the type of emotional resilience you might need for a certain job type. During my training as a junior doctor, before specialising in Paediatrics, I had the opportunity to work in Adult Medicine and Surgical jobs and so got a variety of experience in treating patients of different age groups. There were ups and downs in all these fields, working as a junior doctor, you got to see patients at their very low points and when they were happy while recovering too. I don’t think that being a children’s doctor is any more upsetting than the other experiences, but it certainly can be emotional because sometimes, especially working with newborn babies, you feel like there isn’t a huge amount of time to think about what to do next because these babies can be very sick. Luckily we are surrounded by lots of highly trained people- nurses, doctors, pharmacists, dietitians, and many others, who all get stuck in and provide a huge wealth of help and experience when it comes to treating children. Within Paediatrics, in my experience, there is a big culture of support because it is recognised as a field which can be emotional, so perhaps more than in Adult Medicine- the senior doctors and nurses are aware to support the junior doctors and nurses through challenging situations. This type of team work and support is one of the things that attracted me to the job!