“It’s a disgrace to the human race.” The talented, high school senior physically cringed as she described the app, adding, “it’s just horrifying what people put on there.” Teens in my office have nearly universally agreed in the repulsive nature of one of the newest social networking apps called Yik Yak. The app is causing disruption within our local community; being described as a way to cyberbully, offend, and generally disgust anyone anonymously. App users, or ...

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CNN recently released a report on picky eaters. This short piece featured the family of a picky pre-schooler, Harper O’Bamsawin. The brave O’Bamsawin family opened their house to the world, seeking solutions to improve their dinner table experience. The result, however, was an expose of common problems left unsolved. As the camera revealed a typical meal in Harper’s home, it quickly became clear that Harper’s parents have fallen into ...

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On December 4th, 2013, Katie Couric gave the HPV vaccine center stage during a segment on her talk show, Katie. The segment, entitled “The HPV Controversy,” was 20 minutes long, but ignited a digital firestorm between pro- and anti-vaccine voices that raged for days after the stage lights went dark. In partnership with Global Prairie, the entire online conversation surrounding this Katie segment was digitally captured using DataFarm. ...

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A recent study in JAMA Pediatrics discovered that conversations about sexual health between a health provider and a teen patient are shockingly short (less than 40 seconds), full of bland yes/no answers, and more likely to occur if the patient is older. The research has put a glaring light on the need for better sex education opportunities during routine teen health visits. I believe all teenagers deserve ...

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It’s the beginning of cold and flu season. That means a lot of kiddos, big and small, are coming to the office with fever. As docs, we know that fevers can freak moms and dads out. Kids look pretty awful when their temperature climbs, and it is understandable that parents want to bring them to the office for an evaluation. In the exam room, I often hear worried parents say ...

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The HPV vaccine is in the news again. This time it is Katie Couric’s daytime talk show that is shining the spotlight. And, I am thankful. A medicine that prevents cancer is worth giving airtime. In the segment, Couric chose to highlight the experience of 3 mother-daughter duos and their experience with the HPV vaccine. One story ended in loss, one in pain, and one in quiet confidence. Couric also highlighted advice from ...

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From gas stations to grocery stores, slender cylinders of nicotine “e-juice” seem to be available everywhere. On my drive to work, in fact, 2 new e-cigarette shops have opened their doors in just the last 3 months. So I was not surprised to read a recent report suggesting a rise in the number of teens trying e-cigs. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine by heating nicotine-containing fluid into a vapor that is inhaled. ...

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How to teach your child colors “I’m so frustrated, Dr. Natasha. My 2-year-old son knows his letters and can count to 10, but he does not seem to know any colors. He just calls everything ‘blue’. Do you think he could be colorblind?” Parents often come to my office with the concern that their child is unable to correctly identify colors, even when these children have an impressive ...

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The teenage girl was in my office for a routine physical. As we were talking about healthy dietary habits and routine exercise, she blurted it out: “I make good choices, Dr. Natasha, I’m not like those girls who just want a bigger thigh gap.” “So, you guys are talking about thigh gaps now?” I asked with horrified curiosity. “Yeah, mainly the girls in volleyball or cheer. I mean, they have to show their gaps. But, ...

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Our hearts are heavy after learning about the loss of a talented high school athlete in our community. Recently, Andre Maloney died after suffering from a stroke caused by a blood clot in his brain. As the details are continuing to emerge, it is beginning to become clear that the stroke Andre suffered from was not a result of a traumatic hit on the field, nor a concussion event. Sadly, his ...

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