Another child has been severely harmed by a naturopath—this time, in the UK. A four-year-old boy with autism received naturopathic treatments that landed him in the emergency room. The boy had severe dehydration and dangerously elevated calcium levels. A naturopath had prescribed a regimen of vitamin D, calcium, cod liver oil, zinc and a long list of other substances that included silver, enzymes, salts and trace minerals As a former ...

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Recently I wrote about empowerment and the importance of letting patients make their own health care decisions.  Our job is to make sure patients are given information and then allowed to choose the best option for them.  Maybe we should even embolden patients; give them confidence and encourage them to take more control. Physicians tend to feel more comfortable advising according to the “standard of care” and ...

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As I met with the vice dean of academic affairs to discuss my readiness for promotion from assistant to associate professor of pediatrics, I led with the usual list of accomplishments. After all, I thought I was pretty well rounded, with achievements in teaching, patient care, institutional service, quality improvement, and research. Unfortunately, this meeting was not going as I had hoped and I sensed ambivalence from the other end ...

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Once upon a time, there was a land where parents were anxious, information was pervasive, and trust was hard to come by. Misinformed celebrities with impressive influence (despite minimal education) were spouting ideas that provided concrete solutions to poorly understood situations, and parents were clinging to them as if their (child’s) life depended upon it. Pediatricians everywhere were scratching their heads, wondering, what has happened? Why are our patients doubting us? ...

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Growing up during the 1970’s and 80’s, Little House on the Prairie was an iconic part of my childhood.  Doc Baker was the physician and veterinarian for all of Walnut Grove, in spite of limited resources.  Medical lessons were everywhere in the beloved television series:  Mary experiencing onset of blindness (most recently attributed to viral meningoencephalitis, likely from measles), the death of Laura’s infant son by unknown cause, and Rose’s ...

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Referencing a recent New York Times article “What Kids Wish Their Teachers Knew” got me thinking about both sides of the coin.  Physicians are human beings and sometimes this fact gets lost when a patient is angry or frustrated seeking help from the medical system.  Here is a primer on what I wish my patients knew. (This is a companion piece to "I wish my doctor ...

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A manifesto has been making the rounds on Twitter (and other places) over the past year. It has been attributed to Dr. Mike Ginsberg, a California pediatrician. It reportedly was originally a Facebook post that has since been taken down, perhaps because of the controversy it generated. I can understand why; vaccines are a hot button topic, and anyone who writes about them attracts attention, some of it unpleasant. I know ...

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OK, I’ll admit it. I’m a doctor “I work at a hospital.” Those words had left my mouth a hundred times before, and yet on this late summer day, I paused to actually think about them. Why I was saying them, what I really meant, and what I should have said instead. I was making conversation with someone I had just met. The inevitable question, “So, what do you do?” was asked, and ...

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The television doctors: Striding purposefully through the ER, giving orders, surrounded by a gaggle of eager learners and a super-team of nurses and techs. Or spending hours operating, then sipping martinis while waiting for the next disaster. Maybe saving lives in between daydreams and liaisons with hot colleagues and nurses. All in a day’s work! Maybe not. A new study looked at what doctors really do all day. In the real ...

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Recently the New York Times published an article, "What Kids Wish Their Teachers Knew." As a pediatrician, I have spent a good part of my lifetime fighting for the health and welfare of our young people.  They are the future.  We owe our children a safe, caring, stable childhood whenever possible. Outside of a supportive family, a long-term family physician or pediatrician can be an important role model ...

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