I remember a warm September day at the playground 22 years ago. I was there with my 19-month-old daughter and newborn son. Zack was hungry, so I sat down on a bench to nurse him -- but every time I got him settled, Michaela ran away from me. Far away, out-of-view away (she was a quick little thing). The playground was fenced in, but there were lots of ways for ...

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Physicians today are not held in the same high esteem as they used to be.  We are often portrayed as callous, intolerant, clutch-fisted, know-it-alls who schedule patients around our daily golf game.  (For the record, I do not play golf.)  Physicians are accomplished in the application of science, but we are not experts in public relations. We are human beings: mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.  Like everyone ...

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Dads play a critical role in their kids' development.  Happy Father's Day from pediatrician-rapper Young IV!  

As many who are pediatricians or know pediatricians are aware, the quest to end gun violence is a passion for our profession and an advocacy issue of utmost importance for our professional organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Having practiced in areas with a high incidence of gun violence for most of my career until recently moving to California, I have seen first-hand how this tragic issue affects the ...

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A couple of years ago, “epic fail” was the phrase my teenage son used as I unsuccessfully attempted to beat him in a game we were playing. At the time, I thought to myself it was a harsh but accurate assessment of my performance. And I was certainly motivated to practice on my own so that the next time, things would be different. That same phrase came to mind as I ...

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In the dark lecture room, I watched the neurologist's shadow flicker across the only source of light -- a projection of the New York City subway map. He pointed at Times Square station. If the subway system were a brainstem, then Times Square would be the pons, transporting vital signals like breathing, speaking, and swallowing. He likened the station's abrupt destruction to a stroke producing locked-in syndrome. Writer Jean-Dominique Bauby describes ...

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Physicians are accustomed to seeing patients at the end of their lives.  It is difficult to let families know they may lose their loved one.  Clinicians are often accepting of patients DNR orders before family members are ready.  This story is about a time where the health care team was ill-prepared, yet a parent made the difficult decision to discontinue intervention.  It taught me an unforgettable lesson. During the first ICU ...

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It's field trip season in middle school. Which means that all over the country young adolescents are headed to memorials and museums. In New Haven, Connecticut, field trip season means the 8th graders are going to the World Trade Center in New York City. Which means that at my kitchen table, my daughters and I are discussing how safe it is to be at the World Trade Center. Two of us think it's one of the ...

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During our dermatology section in medical school, a classmate recounted having had Henoch-Schonlein purpura as a child.  Over a holiday break, he visited his primary care physician and asked if he could review his records out of curiosity.  His family physician pulled out the index card that served as this man’s medical record.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It was not a chart or computer printout; rather a 4 x ...

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voluntary The American Board of Medical Specialties says “board certification is a voluntary process, and one that is very different from medical licensure.” This is echoed by my board, the American Board of Pediatrics, who says, “Board certification is a voluntary process that goes above and beyond state licensing requirements for practicing medicine.” Over the past few years, the definition ...

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