(The following story was told to me by a friend; details have been changed to protect privacy.) An early winter snowstorm left Janet with an unexpected whole day alone with her 17-year-old daughter Ally. As was typical for the pair, they spent the morning in comfortable separateness. Janet took advantage of the opportunity to catch up on paperwork, while Ally stayed in her room working on college applications. In Janet's view ...

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I have a new hero. Her name is Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH. Dr. Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician in Flint, Michigan. She grew up in a suburb of Detroit. She graduated from the University of Michigan before attending medical school at Michigan State University. During her clinical years (the 3rd and 4th years of medical school), she spent many months at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, which serves as a clinical ...

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It happens each time one of my children enters the teenage years (sometimes a little bit before). I go from having a lovely child and feeling like a reasonably pleasant parent to having a moody houseguest and becoming a shrew. You'd think, having gone through this now four times, that I'd figure out how to avoid it. Or that I'd expect it. Or not let it bother me so much. Nope. ...

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Without a doubt, parenting is simultaneously the most rewarding and difficult job we have as adults. As a child psychiatrist and mom, I am always asked if I find it easier to parent given my profession. I always respond by saying, "I was the perfect parent until I had children!" I am also universally asked about how to raise happy children. I always pause before I attempt to answer this question. ...

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Fever phobia is common among parents. The vast majority of the time, these fears are unfounded, because a fever is very rarely a cause for significant concern. One important exception is in newborns under 2 months of age. Compared to older children, these very young infants are at high risk for serious infections, so any fever in this age group requires urgent medical evaluation. Here’s what parents needs to know ...

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Dear American Board of Pediatrics: On December 17 2015, at 3:01 in the middle of my busy day seeing patients, I voluntarily gave up my American Board of Pediatrics certification. I thought I should write this letter, hopefully preempting any more threatening emails warning me that I must pay up or lose my certification. This was not mere oversight on my part. This was purposeful. The reason I am no longer ABP ...

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I was recently scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I came upon a long message chain started by one of my friends, an older woman from my hometown in New Jersey. She had seen a discussion given by a drug representative who was promoting administering Gardasil to early adolescents for the prevention of cervical cancer, and my friend wanted to know how other parents felt about allowing their children to ...

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When my twin sons were born prematurely at 26 weeks’ gestation, my family’s lives were thrust into the whirlwind of the NICU and living daily with the reality of the babies (William and Elliott) being on life support. Having had no prior intense and prolonged experiences with the hospital, and watching helplessly and fretfully as my tiny two-pounders fought for their lives, it’s almost impossible to put into language what ...

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Recently, new dietary guidelines were released, recommending reducing sugar intake overall, and reducing meat intake in growing boys.  Last year, as we remain in the throes of a nationwide obesity epidemic, the FDA changed the nutritional labels we’ve become all-too-familiar with. The emphasis is now on calorie count of an "appropriate" serving size. So much for my pretending that the "appropriately served" pint of ice cream I just downed had 350 ...

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I am old enough to remember standing shirtless on a chilly afternoon in the school gym lined up with my fellow teammates while a volunteer doctor went down the row clearing us for school athletics in a medical assembly line.  This scene has been a familiar rite of passage for generations of student-athletes. However in this day of modern preventative medicine, is the sports physical the best we can do ...

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