Having grown up in Vermont in a “medical family,” I thought that I knew the quality of our local health care system. It wasn’t until I joined the Vermont Children’s Hospital as an employee however, that I saw just how every member of the healthcare team is dedicated, compassionate, knowledgeable and friendly.
The recent recognition of the Vermont Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Pulmonary and Gastroenterology divisions as among the top 25% of centers nationwide is an enormous, well deserved honor that reflects the hard work and dedication of each and every member of those teams. I have been fortunate to have worked with both teams, and can tell you that the care provided by our providers, nurses, and support staff at the Vermont Children’s Hospital is second to none.
It is my belief that the “sweet spot” for quality medical care lies somewhere between the laboratory and the bedside. Those truly talented healthcare providers are those who are able to blend the ever-evolving science of medicine with the art of taking care of patients. Understanding your audience is an important quality for a stage performer, yet I have found it is equally important in health care.
In Pediatrics, while managing the patient medically is the primary priority, it is often the “I Spy” book or the bottle of bubbles that is most appreciated by our patients. On more than one occasion I have entered an exam room after a patient’s appointment to find a constricted bronchiole drawn on the exam table paper to explain the disease process of asthma or the infamous “GI lunchbox” with tools to explain the process of an endoscopy. It is this commitment to developmentally appropriate patient education that goes above and beyond medical care that sets our hospital apart.
Beyond exceptional patient care and education, the healthcare providers of the Vermont Children’s Hospital are committed to teaching future generations of providers. As someone who is aspiring to medical school, working at the Children’s hospital has been an invaluable experience. I enjoy working with our physicians, nurse practitioners and nursing staff every day in clinic and learning the story of the patients that we care for. Furthermore it seems that there are always opportunities for shadow experience outside of clinic time – whether it’s been early morning rounds and bronchoscopies with Dr. Lahiri, or observing endoscopies with Dr. D’Amico and Dr. Sullivan. These and countless other reasons are why I am truly proud to be a member of this unique and dynamic team.
Nathaniel White is a medical assistant in pediatric gastroenterology at Fletcher Allen.