Twenty years ago, Congress made a commitment to its children when it created the Children’s Health Insurance Program, recognizing working parents who earned too much to qualify for Medicaid still couldn’t afford health insurance for their kids. For pediatricians who remember, the practice landscape was a great deal different then. So many children were uninsured that pediatric emergency rooms were filled with children who needed routine school physicals and regular ...

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Nearly every American is touched by serious chronic illness, either as a patient or as a caregiver. The federal government recognizes the far-reaching effects of such conditions, and agencies like the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conduct surveillance of these diseases. Such research allows us to better understand the burden of different diseases, develop new treatments and prevention practices, and protect the public’s health. ...

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I find myself spending close to an hour on the computer each morning at the hospital. I spend this time dutifully looking up vital signs, labs, recent radiology or pathology results as well as many other valuable pieces of information about each of my patients. I watch as my colleagues frantically record values, while making sure to point out important trends and gross abnormalities. When we round, there is always a ...

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Sexuality can be hard to talk about. I think this is true for adults far more than for children. Children are naturally curious and nonjudgmental. They just want to know: What is that, what’s it for, why are yours different from mine, and why does he have one of those and I don’t? It’s we adults who squirm and dodge, deflect and bolt. From a very early age, children learn ...

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Dr. Tara Zandvliet was inundated with calls and emails from parents last year, after California passed a law nixing personal beliefs as an exemption from school vaccinations. Suddenly, many parents sought exemptions for medical reasons. Someone even faked two medical exemption forms purportedly written by the San Diego pediatrician, copying a legitimate document she’d provided for a patient and writing in the names of students she’d never treated, she said. She ...

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Two months into my pediatric residency, while working on an overnight call, I encountered my first medical mistake. We, fortunately, had had a very good night, and all patients had remained stable. It was an hour before sign-out to the morning team, that I received a page. I quickly held my pager and dialed the 4-digit number, only to find a busy dial tone. I was a little surprised and ...

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Physician-comedian Brad Nieder on his daughter's implants. Enjoy the comedy stylings of Brad Nieder, MD. See more at the Healthy Humorist.

I sat on my floor, surrounded by boxes in various states of organization and disarray, sifting through a pile of papers. I was moving for my surgical fellowship and, of course, put off packing to the last minute. However, in the middle of the hectic and scattered process, a particular stack of papers caught my eye; I felt the need to pause and go through them. They were old and ...

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#Tweetiatrician is a common hashtag used by pediatricians as a way I assumed to find advocates for children’s issues. Recently, I used this hashtag to start a new Twitter account. I sought educated dialogue on Medicaid, health care reform, vaccination, and other pediatric topics. I am a pediatric emergency medicine physician and consider myself a strong advocate for children and seldom agree with any political party. My advocacy work in many forms ...

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As a pediatrician, I have always known the value of my presence. At least, that is how I remember feeling during long nights in the hospital taking care of sick children, in the clinic or in any situation that required pediatric expertise. “How can I help?” I would always ask as I entered an exam room. Answering questions from wide-eyed parents about their foreign and frightening new bundle of joy, ...

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