Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Five Year Old Doctors

I just spent three days hanging out with Danny's sister's family- killing some time that I'm stuck in Chicago between interviews.  Today, his 5 year old niece asked me to play doctor with her.  I was obviously relegated to being the patient, but I was willing to go along with it.  Here's how the interaction went:

Me:  I have a cough, doctor!
Niece: OK.  I will listen to your lungs.  Take deep breaths.
**auscultates in 4 areas on my back chest and 2 on my front chest** 
Now I'll look in your ear.
**pulls my pinna correctly as she pretended to look in**
 Me: So what's wrong doctor?
Niece:  You have strep throat.  You have to take antibiotics.  You have to take all of them, and you can't skip any, and you can't stop early.  Otherwise the bacteria gets stronger.

I would put any 3rd year medical student toe-to-toe with that 5 year old, and I bet she did a better job of doing a classic pediatrics sick visit.  She won lots of points for:
(1) actually listening to my lungs correctly (3rds years do 2 spots on the back and call it quits)
(2) looking in my ears correctly
(3) making a clinical diagnosis without unnecessary lab tests (any 3rd year would've ordered a strep swab)
(4) spending 80% of her words on educating me about responsible antibiotic use

Well done, little niece.  I hope medical school is in your future.


  1. Finley and I watched an episode of Mickey Mouse today where Daisy got her pretend doctor sticker for removing a thorn from Pluto's paw, healing Minnie's upset stomach with a green apple and some other stupid stuff.

  2. That is AMAZING! I may not be a med student nor a doctor, I'm still in high school, but I was IMPRESSED with her language!

  3. very cute! Auscultates?? Hope to use a variation of that in my next scrabble game. :-)

  4. How is strep throat the correct clinical diagnosis for a cough if she doesn't even look at your throat?