An excerpt from Stay Away From My ER, and other fun bits of wisdom. 1. You don’t like to be told what to do. Especially not by arrogant doctors, who act as if they know better, just because they’ve been through a few decades of training! 2. Your ...

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Egotism is a common trait among doctors, although most of us keep it under adequate control when dealing with patients. The ideal doctor-parent encounter has been described as a collaboration among equals, each of which brings expertise to the exchange; the doctor knows medicine, the parent knows the child. This is the ideal, although sometimes the reality falls short of it. The way our medical system is now structured gives ...

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Karen smiled nervously, her swollen belly peeking out from under her stretched silver tank top. Six months pregnant with her first child, the eighteen-year-old had come to the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) office for help with getting enough to eat. As a medical student with a background in nutrition advocacy and a future in pediatrics, I had asked to observe the WIC enrollment process.

Karen and ...

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You’ve seen the ads, and you may have even gotten a flyer in the mail directly from your insurance company. Use an app to make a quick video call to get the medical care you need. No waiting rooms, no appointments, no having to be touched, or even sit in a room with a physician – just the magic of the internet, and you’ll get what you want. But will you ...

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I carry you in my heart. Not your cold and quiet and still little body.  No. I carry the you that I never knew. The you that your parents grieve. The you that will never grow up. The you that laughed and played that nobody new will ever meet again. I carry you in my heart. It was that you that made me grit my teeth when I heard they were bringing your body ...

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The recent pardon of a convicted child rapist by the ex-Kentucky Governor has sparked a lot of controversies. The basis of the pardon was- “the victim’s hymen was noted to be physically intact.” Evolving studies have continuously shown that the hymen is not a reliable or accurate means to conclude sexual assault. But if physical damage is the only criterion used to assess ...

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I’m a pediatric hospitalist, and I know that most days in the hospital are routine. But every once in a while, a patient pierces through your armor, and touches your heart in totally unexpected ways. Willow did that to me. Willow was five days old and had been admitted because her breathing was not quite right. I first met her in her hospital room, with her dad hovering over her bassinet, ...

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During the winter months, it's common for many families to spend more time indoors due to colder weather and fewer daylight hours. Unfortunately, children may also end up spending an increased amount of time using electronics to entertain or divert themselves from the dreaded childhood condition commonly known as "boredom." As parents and caregivers, we must be aware of the time our children are committing to digital media and regularly monitor ...

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I knew things weren't right when a nurse called me on my cell phone just a few minutes after she sent me to pump milk in a private room and said that the medical team wants to meet with my husband and me immediately in a conference room. My suspicions were confirmed when we walked into a conference room and saw a long table full of doctors who all stood ...

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“S as in Sam, I, E, C as in Charlie, Z as in zebra, K, O, W, S as in Sam, K, I.” “A, O, W?” “No. K, as in kite. K, O, W.” “Is that your married name?” “Nope. This is my maiden name. I kept it.” “What is that? Polish?” “Yes. Yes, it is.” “Wow! I definitely wouldn’t have gotten that one right!” Chuckle. Sigh. Then move on to my next task knowing that this interaction ...

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It has been over a month since I started this new hobby. I told my middle-school-aged daughter tonight, “I am going to write a post about how ocean plastic picking has made me a better pediatrician.” She replied, “You mean better than other pediatricians?” “No, I mean a better pediatrician than I was before,” I answered in all seriousness. I know where her thoughts were coming from. I have always thought that ...

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Imagine if every “device” (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) had the following warning label: This device is not intended for any individuals under the age of 16. Purchasers of this device frequently cite their child's "safety" as a reason for their purchase. Prospective purchasers, upon reading this warning, may feel otherwise. Use of this device in early childhood has been associated with delayed language acquisition. This device has been linked to emotional dysregulation in ...

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The pediatrician kept on telling me that everything was fine. What could possibly be wrong? His motor skills were right on time, if not a little early.  He even had emerging problem-solving skills. He did things like push a chair up to a shelf to climb up and get what he wanted.  Three decades later, he still does clever things that make me question why he is so impaired. Unfortunately, there ...

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As a woman physician, practicing for over 31 years, I have faced many misogynistic occurrences as well as misperceptions about my career choice. This blatant devaluation of women within medicine may be similar to what other women have had or continue to face daily. At large, these experiences resulted in a journey not always easy, nor welcomed, but in the end, accepted for the maturity obtained. My hope is that by ...

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An excerpt from Mind Bubbles: Exploring mindfulness with kids. I am not a pediatrician.  My training as an OB/GYN taught me to care for mothers-to-be and bring their babies safely into the world—and then hand them over to the waiting pediatrician.  I am also a mom and mindfulness teacher, however, ...

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Running late for school in the morning.

Again.

You yell upstairs to your daughter, “Hurry up.”

While she’s slipping on her sneakers and hustling out the door, you grab her backpack from the chair in the dining room. “Wow,” you think. “That’s heavy.”

Even when she’s soaking wet, your daughter weighs all of seventy pounds. You wonder, “Is that backpack too heavy for her? Can it be damaging her ...

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From October 25 to October 29, 2019, more than 10,000 pediatricians from all over the world gathered in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, to attend the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition. As the world's largest pediatric medical education event, the AAP National Conference draws pediatricians, like me, to network with mentors and colleagues, learn about the latest clinical guidelines and policies, and be inspired to renew ...

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Do you ever see other people in their careers and think to yourself, "Maybe I could do that?" I am a board-certified pediatric physician with over 25 years of experience in private practice, and I recently decided to try my hand at acting. Much to my surprise, I was awful.  It was almost as if there were basic premises of the craft that I did not understand at all. But I suppose that ...

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Between 2011 and 2015 there were over 21,000 children killed by guns. This recent study in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, further analyzes the question; it compares pediatric firearm fatality rates among the various states and then tests for correlation between children killed and the degree of strictness or not of the state’s gun laws. There are extensive data on whole populations showing that stricter ...

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It’s Monday, I recall as I step into work; “Preparing for battle,” I say with a smirk. Surviving all weekend with a sick kid in tow, the parents’ relief as they waited to show you their child with fever, diarrhea and sneezing, the one who is too hot, too cold or is freezing, the one who forgot that a helmet is needed, the one who is eating too much, they conceded. The one who still haunts you when ...

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