In just a few days I’ll be leaving the clinic where I’ve practiced pediatrics for the past six years. The last months have been a flurry of last visits with families, paperwork, and tying up loose ends. There have been many, many goodbyes. I’ve been deeply moved by the expressions of gratitude and affection that many families have shared with me. It seems it is always in these times of change ...

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I’ve been working with the latest electronic medical record (EMR) for almost a year now. You know the one. There are many positive changes, to be sure. It has helped me more than a few times with calculating doses for kids’ medications. I can now easily check in on my patients’ progress when they are admitted to the hospital. And, of course, the notes are far more legible. But what do ...

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I gotta say, the daily commute has been feeling a bit hairy lately. Seems like I’m passing accidents more frequently. Watching a bit more weaving. I can’t be sure that it’s all related to distracted driving, but sure seems like a lot of it is. Every day I witness drivers looking down at phones at stoplights, missing the change to green. I even saw a smartphone mounted to one car’s driver side dash and the driver scrolling through websites ...

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Can sexualized images from pop music be a teachable moment? I have a confession. I like pop music. During my commute each day I admit I often make the mind-bending switch between NPR and the top 40 station. Even if you trend toward a more high-brow music collection, perhaps you’ll allow me that these tunes are catchy and they’ve got a beat. But lately I’m feeling fairly conflicted about it. I didn’t watch the VMAs. ...

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A while back I was working in pediatric urgent care and had occasion to do something I have done many times since starting out in medicine. I called a consult. The reason, like many consults, was an abnormality on a study that required a specialist’s opinion. I paged the resident on call for this particular specialty. When they called back I was treated, right from the get-go, to some serious attitude. This was a legitimate ...

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I’m not sure I’ve ever been great at being still. As a kid, I joined one activity after another. Not because my parents told me I should. I just liked it. Staying busy. But, I could concentrate. Quiet the mind. I’d sit and read for hours on end or close my eyes and listen to a cassette tape from beginning to end. Even through busy high school and college years, a ...

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As a pediatrician at a busy county clinic with close proximity to pediatric specialists, I care for a significant number of children with special health care needs. Instead of colds and ear infections (though there are those too), my days are often filled thinking about gastrostomy tubes, tracheostomies, and ventriculo-peritoneal shunts. I sign orders for specialty formulas and nebulizer machines. Many of my patients have thick charts and diagnoses like ...

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People often ask how old my son is when we are out and about. When he proudly says, “Two!”, the most common response is a smile to him ... and a knowing glance to me. This is often accompanied by, “Oooh, the terrible twos!” I’m here today to stand in the defense of two-year-olds. Sure, they have their share of tantrums and the transition from infant to preschooler is sometimes a ...

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I recently took call on the pediatric ward. Our team was caring for a young patient facing a new diagnosis of a chronic illness. In addition to stabilizing her symptoms, coordinating care with her new specialist, and managing her medications, I also see it as our job to make sure she and her family start to understand what is going on and what this diagnosis means for her. How does this ...

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It happened again three times in clinic today.  In the middle of a patient visit, a parent picked up their cell phone.  To answer a call, to text a friend, to read their email.  The trend of being always connected and available has reached the exam room.  When this first started happening I was sort of incredulous.  I mean, I’m there, talking to you about your child’s health, and you’re ...

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