In a newspaper article among the readings for the “Pediatric Links with the Community” rotation titled“Welfare reform will push children into poverty,” Molly Ivins writes, “When was the last time a small child took your hand, and you felt it there, that tiny hand in yours?” I found those words moving as I thought about how caught up we often become in rotations and clinics and schedules and call nights and all the other resident responsibilities. Do we take time to be with our patients and show our real concern and compassion for them?

The most compelling experiences for me during this rotation were opportunities to meet families and children in their homes and glimpse the environment in which they live outside the hospital or the emergency department. For 2 short weeks, I put aside most of the daily hurryings of being a resident and spent time learning about resources...

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