Ever wondered what its like to be a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician or what it takes? Dr. Maria Perez-Johnson, a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician, shares the inside scoop in our latest Q & A.
What is your title?
What is your field?
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
How did you decide to go into your field?
I love the resiliency of kids. They are honest and forthcoming, and despite them not feeling well they often can still smile and laugh and brighten there surroundings.
How many years did you study and train?
Where did you go to school and train?University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
What are somethings you enjoy about your chosen field?
I get to play with kids all day
What are somethings you wish were different about your chosen field? What are some of the challenges you face within your field? Were there obstacles you had to overcome?
While pediatrics overall is great there are days where kids are really sick or where the outcome is poor that makes the work emotionally difficult. Child abuse cases are infuriating and traumas can take their toll on the entire department.
Things that I wish were different are those that affect all fields of medicine overall: time constraints, excessive volumes, short staffing, EMRs, customer service expectations – these added burdens cause demands that often make you feel unfulfilled and stressed.
What is your lifestyle like? What are your hours like? Do you take call?
Full time in the ED can be anywhere from 13-20 shifts a month. The hard part is the turnarounds from days to nights or vice versa. Of course EDs are always open so nights, weekends and holidays are expected normal workdays.
What advice would you give to women considering pursuing a career in your field? Would you recommend your field to them?
I love the fast paced environment of the ED. Everyday is different but you definitely need assistance with home and family schedules. It can be challenging to fit everything in and advanced planning for events at home or school is a must. There is a lot of burn out in this field so you have to be kind to yourself and try not to overdo it.
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers about your field?
It’s challenging but worth it.