Friday, July 27, 2007

The Children Are Our Future

OK, that’s cliché, but clichés hang on because they contain a kernel of truth. This one certainly does, especially for someone like me, who spends every day working with kids. But why bring that up today? Well, last night I had the pleasure of participating in an event that was part of the National Youth Leadership Forum.

The National Youth Leadership Forum invited me to participate in small group discussions with high school students from across the country who would like to pursue a career in medicine. The format was very informal – I sat in a circle with the students, briefly introduced myself, and spent 35 minutes answering questions. The session was highly interactive, engaging and fun; but more importantly, I was surprised and moved by the complexity of their questions and by their motivations for wanting to pursue a medical career.

For example, there were very few questions about income, working long hours, or about how I got accepted into the schools I attended.

Instead, most of the questions were focused on more important concerns in entering a field like pediatric oncology. I was asked questions about how I balance family and work. I was asked about the difficulties a woman pursuing a career in pediatric oncology might face.. I was asked how one can maintain a social life during training. In short, I was asked serious questions by a serious group of young adults. If this is typical of the next generation, I’m full of hope for the future!

In my next entry I’ll address one of the most common questions that I answered last night – how I deal with the death of a patient.

1 comment:

"Elizabliss" said...

And your answers to the questions were....?