We had to study pretty hard in high school to make it in to Medicine. There we had to study even harder to make to become a doctor. And from then on the studying doesn’t stop. In fact it continues forever. We learn on the job, we go to courses, we attend lectures, we sit exams, we learn and learn and keep learning. Such is the nature of our profession that things are always changing, new research is being done and we discover more about the human body and disease, new treatments are being devised, technology advances and the world changes so medicine has to keep up with it. But for all this learning and education, all the sessions early on in my Paediatric career on how to communicate with children, all the interactions I observed years ago trying to figure out the tricks to distracting a child so we can examine them, for all of that…there is one thing crucial thing that was forgotten. The missing piece……. Frozen.
EVERY SINGLE PAEDIATRIC DOCTOR SHOULD WATCH FROZEN!!! If they know what’s good for them. Move over One Direction, here comes Elsa.
For a good 6 months after that movie came out I was a bit lost. I hadn’t seen it (I’m more of a Disney classic type) so I couldn’t act as if I knew anything about it to those patients who came in wearing or carrying something Frozen related. And there were A LOT, like – every single patient! I didn’t even know it was possible to have so much merchandise – Frozen pyjamas, Frozen dresses, Frozen toys, cups, bags, shoes, reading glasses, watches… you name it. I also quickly became very good at identifying the parent of a Frozen obsessed child. All I had to say to their child was “So do you like Frozen?” and it would immediately be followed by eye rolling and “yes she only watches it 5 times – A DAY. Every. Single. Day”
Finally, after months, it became too much. I just had to watch it and be done with it. I needed to relate to my little patients. And I’m so glad I did because I LOVED IT!! Suddenly I had so much more to say to them. I could totally understand why everyone adores Olaf and thinks Kristoff is such a darling, and I could chat about why Ana is my favourite and why I really don’t like “Let It Go” (is it just me or is it a bit painful to listen to?) I had to be careful thought to pick my audience with the last discussion point – one way to stop an examination being over (apart from pulling out the tongue depressor stick) is saying Let It Go is not a good song.
Nonetheless it was an important lesson: the best part of working with kids is being a kid! And yes the learning never stops but sometimes something as simple as watching a movie can be what it takes to help me make that diagnosis. So since then Frozen has been my favourite distraction topic and my most foolproof conversation starter.
Tay Tay and Beiber have got me out of trouble too, let’s give them some credit. Ah I love my job!
Be happy, be healthy, be kind.
Dr. Nelu x