“There is no such thing as balance, just different degrees of imbalance at different times,” said the speaker. I was at a work-life balance panel for women in medicine during medical school. As a young woman just starting my medical training, I found that statement liberating and unsettling at the same time, and it stuck with me. I have lived those words many times over as I’ve navigated the past ...

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Now more than ever, children and adolescents need to continue receiving routine well-child visits and regularly scheduled immunizations. From the earliest onset of the COVID19 pandemic, there has been a significant decrease in the number of preventive health visits to clinical practices. Unfortunately, this new reality has led to many patients missing important immunizations and delaying critical developmental screenings that are recommended for the well-being of every member of our pediatric population. Parents and ...

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"After almost 30 years in this profession, I have come to the conclusion that there is some truth to that, as no day or week passes that I do not have a depressed, anxious or suicidal teen on my 'to see list.' Could it be my own personal history of depression and suicidal ideation? Could it be my own history of ...

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I lost my mom to breast cancer two months before finding out I was pregnant for the first time ... with twins. Trying to navigate being a new mom of two without my own mom was ridiculously hard, both physically and emotionally. While I had help at first, within a month, I often found myself home alone with two screaming colicky babies. There were times I felt like I was ...

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Growing up in Puerto Rico, "babas" (bottles: biberón/botellas) and "bobos" (pacifiers:  chupetes/chupón) were very common among the families and children of the island.  I still remember our Abuelita giving us milk in our "babas," so my younger sister and I were sure to fall asleep better.  From the time of our births, to when my sister was three years old, the "bobo" was also consistently being used in our home. Now, ...

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It’s that wonderful time of year when new interns take their first steps into hospitals as practicing physicians One of us has just completed her intern year and the other quite a while back (but recently enough to still remember some of it), so we wanted to share some tips for the pediatric interns about to start this wonderful adventure. 1. Don’t be overly anxious (as a little anxiety is expected). ...

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As a newly minted neonatal-cardiac intensivist, I was all ready to take on the world. I mean, caring for the babies with congenital heart disease (CHD), congenital diaphragmatic hernias (CDH) and all other congenital anomalies and premature birth. I was excited and ready for service. It was my 27th year of "being a student." I had gone through the grind of medical school, residency training, fellowship training, and an additional ...

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An excerpt from A Country Doctor Writes: CONDITIONS: Diseases and Other Life Circumstances. “Welcome back. How was your trip? Or exile ... you were away for a long time.” “Almost a year,” my nine o’clock patient answered. A woman just over forty, she looked tan and physically strong. ...

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Amaka was a timid-looking girl, tall in stature with a head of braided hair, like myself. She was unassuming and composed at first glance and, if my hypothesis was correct, she could not have been older than me. We were similar, both being of Igbo heritage, but also different—Amaka was pregnant. Admittedly, at 14, I had apprehensions, but they were mitigated by my curiosity about her story. Our similarities gave ...

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When news started coming in that throngs of protestors were gathering in Chicago to protest the horrific killing of George Floyd, my initial feelings of anger were tempered by a hope that maybe this time things would turn around for our black brothers and sisters.  Quickly, as the protests became infiltrated with violence, and I saw more and more photos of my old neighborhood looted or boarded up, ...

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Currently, we are in a transition time. Many of us are still healing from the shock brought on by the beginning days of the COVID crisis. While it has been nice to enjoy the warmer weather both from a distance but also amongst friends given the lifting of many social restrictions, life still does not seem "normal." As human beings, we adapt to our surroundings, and all of us are ...

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In the world of pediatrics, my colleagues and I remain vigilant about the threat of coronavirus to children. Every week, we learn more information about new presentations of COVID-19, such as novel inflammatory syndromes. Still, I am hopeful that with supportive home care, good infection control practices, and access to high-quality health care when needed, we can keep children in our communities healthy and safe. However, ...

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I went through the five stages of grief when we lost our wedding to COVID-19. The denial: “I’m sure this will be over by summer.” The anger: “This is so unfair! I’ve planned this for two years.” The bargaining: “We’ll just push it back to July, no need to go further. That’ll be fine, right?” The depression: *Sobs scrolling through others’ anniversary pictures on Instagram* The acceptance: “So, 2021 it ...

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I am not a black mother. I am white. I am a mother. I am also a pediatrician. Every day I work with mothers and their babies—black, brown, and white, as a newborn hospitalist on a busy, urban maternity unit. I know firsthand that the postpartum period is challenging and overwhelming for mothers. Are we making enough breastmilk? Is the baby starving? Will we ever sleep again? How does anybody ...

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Many people looking in on the world of research have perceptions of brilliant minds at work, rapidly putting forth groundbreaking ideas.  While they’re not entirely wrong, I discovered that this arena of fascinating new discoveries is not always so rapid and not glamorous at all. As a clinical trials research associate, I learned that research is hard. I found that testing and implementing theories and postulations takes time and dedication.  I ...

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An excerpt from It’s All In The Delivery: Improving Healthcare Starting With A Single Conversation. On that night when the desperate call came to pick up the critically ill baby with MAS, I felt very fortunate that Dr. Cunningham was my supervisor. When I arrived at the hospital ...

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The recent pandemic has confined people all over the world to the indoors to try to keep the virus from spreading. Older adults have been the most commonly affected age group with the virus, but more recently, a strange presentation of COVID-19 has been seen in children. New York City first reported 15 similar cases that occurred between April 16 and May 4 for the first time in the United States. ...

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Recently, I was part of a virtual panel discussing ways to help kids and teens manage their digital technology use. The audience, parents from around the world, felt blind-sided about how all of this extra time at home has led to significant increases in screen use for most people. On top of everything else, this pandemic has dumped on our personal and professional lives as physicians, many of us are also ...

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"I used to only have to deal with him touching me after school — now it's all the time." "She's doing drugs more because she lost her job last week; she started hitting me again." As a pediatrician-in-training, I've been concerned about my patients' safety with schools closed, jobs lost, and family stress at all-time highs. As a Crisis Counselor, receiving these messages on recent shifts confirmed my fears that ...

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The devastation inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic both in terms of health and the world economy will continue to be discussed for quite some time. Large numbers of our neighbors have been impacted in these ways. What has also been just as profound is how this pandemic has changed relationships. Corona has greatly impacted our ability to interact in ways that we can all relate to: social isolation, ...

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