Monday, from Brett;
Today was a day full of kids. Sick and well kids. I find myself really drawn to pediatrics because a child in a room can really brighten your day. They can be really sick or hurt and still smile at simple things like a finger puppet. One thing that really stands about pediatrics here is that it is all about education. The parents need to be educated on what to feed their children especially. I also appreciated how upfront the doctors were about overweight children. They called things how they were and would tell the parents if their child was overweight or 'Gordo'. I was shocked how many parents give their kids coke instead of milk and was especially surprised to see this in an obese 8 month old. I got done earlier in the morning and decided to go play with one of the boys in the burn clinic. I could only make him smile once, which just about broke my heart. It was even more difficult because he wanted something but I had no clue what he was saying in Spanish. Situations like that make the language barrier just an annoyance. It's amazing how much I can understand from one doc appointment and then entirely miss what the problem was with the child in the next appointment. I wish I could have been more fluent in Spanish before this trip, but I have definitely been motivated to work on my language skills. My afternoon consisted of observing pediatric nutrition lessons from a specialist. I learned that 20 years ago, about 60% of all children born in Bolivia would die before age 1 due to malnutrition. They have come a long way since that and all children under 5 receive free prescriptions and vitamins. The best part of peds is definitely the fact that all children act similar no matter where they are from and you can make them laugh doing the same things.