“C-section at OR 3,” said the clerk at the neonatal ICU (NICU). We then sped to the prep area to enter the OR as soon as we could. Once geared up, we entered the OR and waited for the new addition to the NICU family. Mom had no prenatal care, but we knew she had used multiple illicit drugs throughout the pregnancy, she was young, had a history of psychiatric disease, ...

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Codeine is a terrible choice for treating children’s pain and cough, and we ought to just stop using it. It’s like an old yogurt container, way at the back of your fridge -- sure, it was once tasty, and then for a while, you held on to it for sentimental reasons. “Remember that yogurt?” you’d say to your spouse. But it’s well past time to throw that stinky stuff away. For ...

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“Listen, when I was your age, I did the same thing …” The words came out of my mouth too fast for my frontal cortex to weigh them or to monitor, let alone modulate, the intensity of my delivery. He was a relatively new patient, 17 years old, scheduled for a well-child exam. A tall, athletic young man, he was alone in the exam room. His right arm was in a sling. “What ...

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"Medicine is not for boys." That's what my 7 year old recently very emphatically told me. My son is not interested in becoming a doctor because it is for girls. He then suggested I discuss medicine with my 3-year-old daughter because she's a girl. My son instead prefers to be a fire fighter, soccer player, or superhero, or maybe a dentist because some boys still actually do that -- but definitely not a ...

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Spanking is an extremely common form of corporal punishment, generally used against a child in response to a perceived bad behavior. It is an old-fashioned form of punishment that has the potential to cause more harm than good. It is clear that spanking may be effective in causing immediate obedience, but this effect is short-lived. Corporal punishment has been associated with adverse effects in childhood, such as causing the child to ...

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Her 17-year-old legs dangled over the edge of the exam table. She had come for a prescription of oral contraceptives. Her boyfriend, she said, had been patient. He wasn’t ready to be a father, and so they were waiting. But lately he had started to put the pressure on and asked her to come in. She wasn’t eager for this change in their relationship, but it seemed like the next ...

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I read another post about the poison of GMO, corn syrup, baby formula.  One more post in an extensive newsfeed.  It is opinion, and I can scroll past, but it feels like another not so subtle reminder of the “breast is best” undercurrent that permeates everything baby related. As a physician, I feel that breastfeeding is ideal.  When I was a third-year resident, and I had my first baby, I was ...

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As a primary care pediatrician, I am often on the front line of mental health care. Since child psychiatric referral services are sparse and overloaded, I often have to initiate counseling for anxiety in many of my patients. One thing that I have learned is that you can help someone with anxiety in a tremendous way by getting them to recognize a simple fact: It is counterproductive to worry about ...

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Another child has been severely harmed by a naturopath—this time, in the UK. A four-year-old boy with autism received naturopathic treatments that landed him in the emergency room. The boy had severe dehydration and dangerously elevated calcium levels. A naturopath had prescribed a regimen of vitamin D, calcium, cod liver oil, zinc and a long list of other substances that included silver, enzymes, salts and trace minerals As a former ...

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Recently I wrote about empowerment and the importance of letting patients make their own health care decisions.  Our job is to make sure patients are given information and then allowed to choose the best option for them.  Maybe we should even embolden patients; give them confidence and encourage them to take more control. Physicians tend to feel more comfortable advising according to the “standard of care” and ...

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