Real-life story - Anu Raykundalia
Building up relationships with children and their families brings Anu great rewards in her work. She also enjoys the benefits of working in a team.
How I got into the role
Training to be a doctor really gives you the opportunity to explore different career possibilities. I went into medicine with the idea that I wanted to work with children. My training let me do this and helped me find my niche as a community paediatrician.
What I do
When I began my training, I was able to spend six months working in public health because I have an interest in prevention. That was in addition to my rotations in different aspects of paediatrics. I think it is important to see the big picture, not just the illness.
I like being able to build up a relationship with children and their families. In hospital, you tend to work with children who have acute problems, maybe in emergency situations, but in the community it is more common to deal with children with long-term conditions, such as cerebral palsy or behavioural problems. You see and treat the whole child, not just the ‘sick’ child.
Another satisfying aspect is that I work in a truly multidisciplinary team to provide the care that is needed. So, as well as other clinicians, there will be social workers, dietitians, health visitors and a range of other professionals sharing skills.
The best bits and challenges
I really enjoy working with children. I still do some out-of-hours work in hospital and there you can get the instant reward of seeing an intervention work. With my work in the community, the rewards come from seeing changes over time with the families and children you have helped. It’s very satisfying.