During sports physical appointments, I routinely address preventive health topics that range from asking about alcohol, drugs, and sexuality, to addressing accident prevention and updating immunizations.  At one such appointment recently, a young male teen was due for two routine vaccines.  The mother accompanying him had no concerns about one of the vaccines, but expressed concern about the other. A friend had recently shared information on Facebook about how the ...

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Parents are sometimes surprised to find out that migraines are the most common cause of recurrent headaches in children. Yes, kids get migraines -- and many adults who get them started getting them as children, even if they weren’t diagnosed correctly. (And many adults who get migraines are still not being diagnosed correctly. Do you get “sinus” headaches? They’re almost certainly migraines. Yes, I know you feel congested with them. Yes, ...

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Pediatrician-rapper Young IV with some holiday safety tips.

In my former life as a hospital-based, shift-working physician with young children at home, this time of the year inevitably brought the same question from at least a handful of individuals:  “Isn’t it hard on your kids not to have you home on Christmas?”  Thankfully, I was always able to answer truthfully, “no.”  With consistent effort and a no-nonsense attitude, my kiddos either didn’t know the difference because they were ...

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When was the last time your child read a book featuring someone different from them? When did they last read a book about an African American girl celebrating her birthday, a Mexican American girl celebrating her quinceañera, or a Jewish American boy celebrating his bar mitzvah? What about a book featuring Chinese American, Native American, Indian American or Muslim children? Think of the last few books you read to your children. Chances are, ...

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As a medical student, I have encountered more emotional and psychological pain as a direct result of my training than I could have previously anticipated. My pain may not be physical (though sometimes it is secondary to sleep deprivation), but it is real. I look around me and am reminded of who I do not want to be, and the kind of person I would dread becoming. At first, I ...

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Someday, we may miss the quaint idea of going to see your doctor for your medical concerns. I realize taking your children to see their doc is a pain. So is taking your car into the mechanic, waiting for the cable guy or going out for groceries. There are other things you’d rather be doing with your time. Can a quick phone call substitute for a doctor visit? At least one huge ...

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I don’t want to dramatize the death of a nineteen-month-old girl who passed away this summer from wounds secondary to child abuse. I just want to document that it happened. That in late August, as I was signing out my patients to the resident taking over for me in the ED, an infant was wheeled in who was found by EMS in asystole with a body temperature below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. ...

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Naturopaths hate it when I draw attention to examples of patient harm resulting from naturopaths failing to uphold medical standards of care. The Ezekiel Stephan case was a prime example of the harm that can come from naturopaths trying to play doctor. Nineteen-month-old Ezekiel Stephan died in 2012 from bacterial meningitis after his parents sought medical advice from naturopath Tracey Tannis. Per Tannis’s recommendation, Ezekiel’s parents treated him with ...

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As of September 15, 85 children from 33 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have died due to infection with the flu during the 2015-2016 season. Piper Lowery, who was a healthy and vibrant 12-year-old girl died from H1N1 Influenza almost one year ago.  Her mother, Pegy Lowery, has gone public with her daughters’ story, to urge more parents to get flu shots for their children.  I ...

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