Walking into Riley Pediatrics Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, and having just completed two prior rotations in emergency medicine at two different level 1 trauma centers, I thought I would be able to easily fit in with pediatric population here. I thought I would be able to slide fluidly from patient to patient, oral reports to consults, while staying connected with the rest of the team. I thought I would be ...

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I found this study to be absolutely fascinating. The link is to the abstract; the complete article is behind a paywall, but I can get it for anybody who’s interested in reading the whole study in detail. Its title is “Fundamental frequency variation in crying of Mandarin and German neonates.” I have always assumed, like most people I suspect, that babies cry the same the world over. When they’re uncomfortable or ...

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The term "vaccine hesitancy" is a relatively recent term in medicine, a term used to describe patients who are worried about the safety, efficacy, or necessity of receiving immunizations. Vaccines are safe and have a proven track record of saving lives. As a result, doctors been caught somewhat off guard by the notion that anyone would have second thoughts about the benefits of immunization. Recommendations commonly publicized on how to respond ...

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Recently, friends of ours had a frightening experience: They were on vacation, and ordered takeout from an unfamiliar restaurant. They specifically asked about peanuts: "Are the egg rolls fried in peanut oil? Our daughter has an allergy." The server replied: "No, no peanut oil." And so they ordered the egg rolls. Awhile after eating an egg roll, their school-aged child Anna (not her real name) complained of a tummy ache. Then, nausea. They ...

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The new school year is just around the corner (or maybe it’s already started where you live). Either way, here are a few quick tips to make sure you start the year off right: 1. Sleep is key: Poor or insufficient sleep can have significant effects on school performance. Many of us (myself included) let our children stay up later during the summer months. But as school starts back, it’s important ...

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We have a vaccine crisis in the this country. Not just the one caused by anti-vaxxers like Jenny McCarthy, scaring Americans away from life-saving childhood vaccines with pseudo-scientific claims about autism. Instead, I’m talking about a bigger crisis, one caused by a dangerously thin supply of vaccines. Wise parents who ignore the blatherings of people like McCarthy may soon arrive at their pediatricians’ offices prepared to vaccinate their children, only ...

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My thoughts settled on the Frank Sinatra song, "My Way," when asked about necessary resources for rural health care to survive. Seven years ago, my father and I changed office buildings.  We closed the office that Friday to allow three full days to get settled.  However, we ended up seeing sick patients in the parking lot (seriously), while the movers were loading up the truck. “All we need is a stethoscope, ...

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When our daughter Florence was born, we were shocked that a tiny, seven-pound beauty could turn our household (and our entire lives) upside down. Why was it so difficult to deal with one human being, when we often took care of a department full of ill patients? How could someone so cute induce a state of perpetual anxiety, forcing us to question every single action we took? It was disconcerting to ...

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As a pediatric resident, I have the joy of building relationships with families and watch their children grow while providing them with anticipatory guidance at every visit. From newborn visits to toddler visits to teenager visits, they come, and we all grow together. (They grow chronologically and as a family, I grow in my experience and knowledge.) The questions come in such a wide, but expected, variety: “When can I introduce ...

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Dustin Ouellete grew up a bit the other day. I had known Dustin as an infant, and his mother before that. Several years ago, the Ouellete family moved away to the big city, but last summer they came back. Dustin came in a few times with his father, and his main concern was migraines. Dustin’s father, a quiet man who seldom smiles, was concerned that the headaches were keeping his son from ...

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