Rounds to Residency

Imperfect Parenting and Pediatric Clerkships with Dr. Jeremy Toffle, MD

Dr. Jeremy Toffle discusses choosing pediatrics as a specialty, supporting parents through his blog, and the changes in clinical medicine during the pandemic.

  • [01:06] How Dr. Toffle Is Changing Medicine for the Better
  • [05:22] The Difference between University Hospital and Clinical Rotations
  • [06:28] The Personality Traits of Pediatricians
  • [08:08] The Hardest Parts of Pediatrics
  • [09:06] Changes in Clinical Medicine During the Pandemic
  • [11:06] Advice for Med Students Considering Pediatrics
  • [12:48] Why Dr. Toffle Started Imperfect Dad, MD

Today, Chase DiMarco talks to Dr. Jeremy Toffle, MD. Dr. Toffle is a pediatrician in Nebraska that runs the Imperfect Dad, MD blog. Through this medium, he brings his parenting and medical experience together to let parents know that they are not alone in the struggle. In this episode, Chase talks to Dr. Toffle about choosing pediatrics as a specialty, supporting parents through his blog and the changes in clinical medicine during the pandemic.

Why Dr. Toffle Chose Pediatrics

Dr. Toffle has always enjoyed being around children. Following his experience in summer camps and being a camp counsellor, Dr. Toffle became more comfortable with being around kids. Pediatric procedure also drew him to the specialty.

Pediatrics and Personalities

Doctors in pediatrics are often stereotyped as bubbly and super-approachable, which is not always the case. Dr. Toffle was partly drawn to the specialty because of the difficulty he experienced getting adult patients to comply with his advice and recommendations. He describes the role of a pediatrician as effectively a middle-man between kids and their parents.

Changes in Medicine During the Pandemic

The field of pediatrics has changed in big and small ways in response to the pandemic. Telemedicine and Zoom are being used for wellness checks and the physical examinations are postponed as necessary. Children who are on long-term medications like ADHD meds are most suited for these remote check-ups and there is often no reason for them to physically be in the doctor’s office. Dr. Toffle predicts that healthcare will continue to use telemedicine and Zoom for checkups that permit them to long after the pandemic has passed.

Advice for Students Preparing for Pediatric Rotations and Considering Pediatrics as a Specialty

Dr. Toffle thinks it is important for students to understand that children are not “little adults” and that their biology is different. He urges students preparing for pediatric rotations to read up on the developmental milestones and check what their classmates have already learned from their rotations.

Pediatric rotations will not be like any of the other rotations. Coming into the rotations with confidence and an open mind will go a long way. Students should look at pediatrics as a completely different world and a completely different type of medicine compared to everything they have learned.

When dealing with adult patients and their health, there are many lifestyle choices like smoking, diet and physical fitness that need to be considered. Kids are a blank slate and physicians have the rare opportunity of helping their patients earlier on in their lives to get them to be healthier adults.

Imperfect Dad, MD

Dr. Toffle started his blog Imperfect Dad, MD early on in the pandemic in an attempt to contribute more at a time he felt parents needed the support. Parents often think pediatricians do everything perfectly when it comes to their children, which is not true. In his blog, Dr. Toffle takes what he knows from his job and being a parent to let other parents know where he has not done a good job. Admitting to his own blunders and flaws takes a lot of weight off parents who feel pressure to be perfect in everything.

Check out Dr. Toffle’s blog Imperfect Dad, MD. Check out his LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram profiles.

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Chase DiMarco

Chase DiMarco is an MS, MBA-HA and MD/Ph.D-candidate. He is the founder of MedEd University, a free medical education resource, the host of the Medical Mnemonist & Rounds to Residency podcasts creator of several medical education platforms, and CEO of FindARotation clinical rotations service.

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