There are good and bad things about being a general pediatrician. The best thing is that you get to work with kids all day. They could really be pretty funny and just make your day. Some would be outgoing and glad to see you, while others would cry when you came near the door to their room. I also liked the variety of general pediatrics. You not only took care of all ages, you took care of all kinds of diseases, from infectious diseases like strep throat to the much more nebulous diseases like ADHD.
Eventually, though, the large amount of time spent on minor things, coupled with the huge amount of worry by parents about these minor things, got to me. You have to enjoy being a counselor, I think, to enjoy general pediatrics. Parents need lots of reassurance and instructions. And I don't mean this as a criticism of parents, because that's expected. When it's your own kid, even minor things seem major. Taking care of runny noses and ear infections, along with the seemingly endless stream of well child checks, just wasn't my thing.
One particular scenario bugged me the most. Mothers would often bring their, say, 8 to 15 month old child in to have the ears checked because the baby wouldn't sleep at night, and they were worried it might be an ear infection. More often than not, there was no ear infection and the baby was staying up at night because, well, that's what babies do sometimes. In such cases the parents would often be disappointed that their baby didn't have an ear infection, because then they would have had something to treat or at least to blame it on. Parents being disappointed because their kid wasn't sick: I understand it, but still, it bothered me.
I'm happy doing neonatology and at the same time am happy that there are docs who enjoy practicing general pediatrics. I have a great deal of respect for them. They work very hard, have to know a wide variety of things, and somehow have to pick out the one kid who has a serious disease like meningitis among the 100 or so kids with fevers and colds they see. My hat is off to them, but I'm glad I'm out of it.