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Poetry in Pediatrics
July 2013

Five—Make That Six—Senses of Primary Care Pediatrics

Author Affiliations
  • 1Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(7):607. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.1326

Smells of liquid vitamin drops with iron, of baby powder emanating from a freshly wet diaper, of protein hydrolysate formula, of tween armpit adrenarche, of sneakers without socks, of ketosis, of PO clindamycin.
Tastes of prednisolone, of pureed green beans, of lunch wolfed down between patients, of peanut-free environs, of rotavirus vaccine.
Feel of successfully reducing a subluxed radial head, of posteriorly dislocating an infant’s hip with a clunk, of the smooth parts and those that are lichenified, of the sandpapery exanthem, of pain, of fluctuance, of fever.
Sights of intermittent accommodative esotropia, of the shiny orange bead in the ear canal, of another just as shiny in the nares, of parvo’s slapped cheek or perhaps popsicle panniculitis, of petechiae.
Sounds of sobbing, of sighing, of first laughs, of reading aloud, of the barking cough, of transmitted upper airway sounds, of crackles, of stridor.
Intuition of our impact on trainee, on child, and on family, anchored by evidence, enhanced by experience, coupled with caring.

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