I’ve been working with the latest electronic medical record (EMR) for almost a year now. You know the one. There are many positive changes, to be sure. It has helped me more than a few times with calculating doses for kids’ medications. I can now easily check in on my patients’ progress when they are admitted to the hospital. And, of course, the notes are far more legible. But what do ...

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The tests came fast and furious.  The diagnosis didn’t. One doctor was certain it was psychosomatic.  My twin younger brothers had been born a few months earlier, and I, seeking attention, was refusing to walk.  My mother kept looking. Another doctor couldn’t figure it out but gave a piece of advice.  “You have other children, right?  Be grateful. Take this one home, keep him comfortable, and when he is gone take comfort ...

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Why is it that illnesses that could be prevented by vaccination are on the rise despite scientific evidence they save lives? Recent articles noted measles exposure to people riding the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) public transportation system as well as more cases of whooping cough due to refusal to vaccinate and in some cases getting “non-medical” personal exemptions. The suggestion that vaccines could cause autism has been debunked. So ...

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Vaccine coverage rates, overall, remain very strong in the USA. Well over 90% of kids are well-vaccinated, and the rates of vaccine-preventable diseases remains very low. Newer vaccines have proven especially safe and effective, including immunizations against severe diarrheal illness and cancers of the cervix and throat. In many ways, we are staying ahead in our battle against vaccine-preventable disease. Yet: there are still pockets of intense resistance to vaccines, ...

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One aspect of the endless vaccine debate is the aspect of coercion some parents feel about requiring children to be vaccinated before they can go to school. The government mandates vaccination. But this isn’t really an absolute requirement. Although all 50 states ostensibly require vaccination, all but 2  (Mississippi and West Virginia) allow parents to opt out for religious reasons, and 19 states allow this for philosophical reasons. (See 
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A recent article in the New Republic, provocatively titled “ADHD Does Not Exist,” starts out well enough. The author, a psychiatrist with “over 50 years experience” points to the fact that ADHD describes a collection of symptoms, rather than their underlying cause. Using stimulants to control these symptoms, he argues, is analogous to prescribing pain medication for cardiac chest pain rather than addressing the underlying circulatory problem. But my ...

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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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I was up helping my son for the majority of the night. He’s got a stomach bug (which he got from his brother) therefore I was up dealing with the enormous mess that comes with vomiting in the middle of the night. I know you know my woe. This is the second round of this bug at our house so I was clearly exhausted when 6am rolled around. First thing I ...

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When someone asks me what a developmental pediatrician does, I tell him or her that I treat children who have a variety of developmental problems, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Without fail, that disclosure elicits some sort of an emotional reaction. Many people have strong opinions about whether the disorder really exists. Parents are still being told, by family and so-called friends, that it’s “their fault,” and that all ...

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I gotta say, the daily commute has been feeling a bit hairy lately. Seems like I’m passing accidents more frequently. Watching a bit more weaving. I can’t be sure that it’s all related to distracted driving, but sure seems like a lot of it is. Every day I witness drivers looking down at phones at stoplights, missing the change to green. I even saw a smartphone mounted to one car’s driver side dash and the driver scrolling through websites ...

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