Dr. Ryan Shephard is a man that I was lucky enough to meet last month during a medical conference in Gaylord, Michigan. Ryan Shephard has been someone that I have respected for a long time and I was able to grab 10 minutes of his time to discuss his job, especially his work in pediatrics, to understand more about what it is like working in children’s medicine. If you have any dreams of one day working in pediatrics then this article can give you an insight into how Dr. Shephard views the position, and what you could expect if you find a career in this area.
The first aspect that Dr. Shephard wants to talk about his the misconception that all patients are the same. When working in pediatrics he tells me, there is a real sense that you are working on someone who does not have all of the tools to fight things on their own. This vulnerability of children is something which Dr. Shephard mentions as the toughest and the most rewarding part of the job. He tells me that the greatest challenge is working on immune systems, muscles and bones which aren’t fully developed yet, as well as the pressure on him that he could be creating a positive or negative outcome on the rest of the child’s life. The worst aspect of the job for Ryan are those times in the past when children have arrested on the operating table, something which hasn’t happened often, but is still always a risk.
Dr. Shephard goes on to speak about the rewards that working inpediatrics brings, which perfectly outweigh the challenges. He is very engaging as he speaks glowingly about the fight which children have and how their attitude really charges up his positive energy. He tells me that very few children ever have a quitting mentality and that they are always fascinated to learn about what is going on, and they show real tenacity to get themselves fixed and back out playing. The services which Ryan is able to offer these young boys and girls have the ability to drastically improve their lives and this is what he tells me is the single most rewarding aspect of his job.
Dr. Shephard is not immune to the stresses or the pressure that is on his shoulders each and every day and he talked to me a little about how he manages to stay cool and calm. Relaxation is his key as well as a healthy diet, interestingly he speaks at length about how much he struggles with stress when he hasn’t eaten well recently. Time with his family and time in the gym are how he keeps himself in a relaxed state, which is what aids him in being such a brilliant medical professional.