Child abuse is a phrase that invokes sadness, disgust and anger in so many people. We are so often bombarded by stories of children killed or permanently injured by a parent or loved one. The emotional response that follows is immediate and strong and may even bring us to tears. Then life keeps going, our daily commitments push the thoughts of this tragedy away into the back of our minds. I am asking each and every one of you to think about this further. Something that has the power to cause such a response in us is something that should not be ignored.
I am a parent and a medical student, nearing the completion of my degree. I have discovered in myself a passion for pediatrics. I have pursued this goal with great joy in knowing that I will be providing health care for children. Yet there has been a looming fear in the back of my mind: “How will I handle seeing the victims of child abuse?” Because, as with many of you, I have overwhelming emotions when I hear about children struck by the hands they look to for love and life. During my pediatric rotation, this question was answered. I saw the worst outcomes of child abuse. The sadness, anger and disgust I felt was transformed into an intense drive, desperate to end the suffering of the innocent.
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