A large number of pediatric practices these days use after-hours call centers for parents who have questions about a sick child. I’ve been looking around to find some data about how common this is, but my sense is that the majority of pediatricians use them. There is no question these call centers make live easier for the doctor; having somebody screen the calls, answer easy questions, and only call you ...

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There is nothing more disheartening for a physician than watching a patient die from a preventable cause. And, of course, the loss for the family involved is unimaginable. But it’s important, especially for parents, to understand the potential consequences of preventable, infectious diseases. Here’s a scenario doctors across the country are witnessing first-hand: A 2-year-old girl develops what seems like a cold. Over the next several days, her breathing rate increases. At ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Brain Structure Disrupted in Autistic Kids. Autopsied brains of autistic children showed "patches of disorganization" not seen in otherwise healthy children.
  2. Weight-Loss Surgery: It's Not Just About Stomach Size. An increase in bile acids, not just smaller stomach size, helps promote weight loss and better glucose control after vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG).
  3. Small, Frequent Meals Don't Rev Metabolism. Dieters ...

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As a pediatrician, I encourage families to search online for health advice. Yet how you search and where you click matters. Tips for you and your time with “Dr. Google” or “Surgeon Bing.” The Pew Internet Project’s research finds that over 70% of Internet users in the United States say they have looked online for health information in the last year. Furthermore, most health information seekers (ie freaked out parents searching ...

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recent blog comes to the conclusion that non-vaccinating parents believe their pediatrician “would have to be staggeringly incompetent, negligent or malicious to keep administering (vaccines).”  Using this as the premise, this pediatrician goes on to say that these patients should be dismissed from our practices. First off, these parents don’t think we’re the enemy.  The reason they bring their kids to see us ...

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As an intern in the neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU), I am one of several doctors who rarely see or touch the tiny patients we treat. We sit in a back room off a distant hallway, far removed from the babies, reviewing lab results and blood gases on the computer. Much of the time I feel like the Wizard of Oz, controlling a marvelous machine from behind a curtain. The only uninterrupted ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. More of the Bugs Kids Get Are Resistant. The rate of antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections in children is increasing in inpatient and outpatient settings.
  2. Salt, Obesity May Prematurely Age Young Cells. High sodium intake and obesity may act synergistically to accelerate cellular aging in adolescents, according to new research.
  3. Breast-Sparing Tops Mastectomy in New Analysis. Breast-conserving surgery led to ...

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I recently fulfilled my civic responsibility by completing a stint on jury duty. Somehow I had never previously been summoned. Being the Law & Order junkie that I am, I was kind of awestruck by my first up-close exposure to the court system. I sat erect and at attention in the courtroom, listening to the judge charge us prospective jurors. I even became slightly teary when he spoke of the important role we ...

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“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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My friend breathed a sigh of relief as she finished her last clinic visit for the day and headed down the hall to the physician workroom.  It was only 5pm.  She still had notes to write and labs to check, and as a senior resident she needed to make it back to the hospital wards to check on her team’s interns, to get updates on the afternoon’s events and help ...

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