November 2017. I was on my pediatrics rotation at a local community clinic. My attending asked me if I could see Johnathan (identifying information and event details altered to protect confidentiality), an eight-year-old boy who has been increasingly fatigued since the start of the school year. I walked down the hallway laden with paintings of Amazon animals and knocked on room #13. "Good afternoon, Ms. Sanders. My name's T.J., and I'm ...

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“If only there was just one more creative way to increase my child’s sugar intake,” said no parent ever. As a pediatric cardiologist, I spend much of my day counseling parents of children with obesity, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. I tell them to increase their physical activity. Remove all junk food from the house. Join a sports team. Cut back on refined sugars. And of course, I am always thrilled when a ...

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I spent my early and mid-career years working in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at a large academic center. We did almost everything except for a few things esoteric at the time — small bowel transplants, a few kinds of experimental surgery. I’m now in my late career (but have no plans to quit anytime soon!) and work in a smaller PICU. I am frequently confronted with the issue ...

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You’ve probably seen it on the news – a rare, polio-like illness is causing cases of paralysis in children. Here’s the latest info, based on our best current knowledge from the CDC. Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a sudden illness that causes weakness in one or more extremities – one arm or (less likely) a leg, or any combination of arms and legs. The words in the name express the key ...

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A couple of years ago, I read an article by Dr. Profeta at LinkedIn called "These four words that may offend you ... may also just save you." He was invited to talk about burnout in medicine and did not get a warm reception. "It's just a job." The "it" in this case is medicine. Medicine, just like any other, is just a job. Let that sink ...

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Imagine this scenario. Your two-year-old son has had a runny nose for a day or two and an occasional cough, but seemed no worse to you that everyone else in his preschool class. Two hours after you put him to bed you hear him coughing, only this cough is like none you have ever heard from him before. It sounds like a barking seal at the circus -- a brassy, ...

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This is not a story about anti-vaxxers. This is a story about primary care. Running a smaller practice, as I do, has inherent rewards and challenges. There is literature on both sides of the Atlantic that patients prefer small practices. Lately, consolidation of practices has been frequent, mostly under the auspices of hospitals, sometimes into larger private groups. Although vertical integration appears to have increased costs and by various mechanisms inadvertently ...

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In Dr. Suneel Dhand’s article, “We can do a better job with hospital discharge paperwork,” he advocates for physicians to do a better job at creating discharge instructions that are more appealing and easier for patients to understand. After all, coherent patient instructions are a crucial part in ensuring that patients are able to adhere to our recommendations, including taking appropriate medications, following up on ...

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STAT_Logo My son, Luke, was born 18 months ago with myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida. Luke and our family have faced many challenges: premature birth at 26 weeks due to complications after in utero surgery for spina bifida; a 171-day stay in the neonatal intensive care unit; 10 surgeries since birth; and more. Throughout ...

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While riding shotgun in the family minivan on the way home from a fall break water park trip, I received the following text message:

I thought of you today! One of the residents here had done a great job with a complex (and really sad) labor and delivery patient, and the nurse was telling me how awesome she was … so I thought to myself that I should do what you ...

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