In just a few days I’ll be leaving the clinic where I’ve practiced pediatrics for the past six years. The last months have been a flurry of last visits with families, paperwork, and tying up loose ends. There have been many, many goodbyes. I’ve been deeply moved by the expressions of gratitude and affection that many families have shared with me. It seems it is always in these times of change and endings that we are most open with each other.
And so, as families share their gratitude with me, I share mine with them. I wonder if patients and families know how deeply they impact their physicians? I wonder if they know how much they’ve taught me? That I, too, remember our shared experiences. The joy of a new birth, the pain of an injury, the horror of abuse, the grief of death. That I’ve carefully guarded the most intimate of life’s details that they’ve shared with me. That these experiences have moved me as a fellow human and shaped me as a pediatrician. I wonder if they know that every kind note and drawing is saved and treasured. Brought out and savored during the hard days to get me through. I wonder if they know that, even on the toughest days, as they’ve waited too long to see me, or when I seem rushed, I still cherish my time with them inside the exam room.
The end of this particular phase of my career, taking my leave of a community of patients and families that I care deeply about, has left me with a feeling akin to grief. But, it has also given me the luxury of time to reflect. After years of training and now a number of years of busy practice, there are occasional flickers of fatigue (mostly related to the constant deluge of administrative tasks). But, my heart is still fully present here in medicine. What a gift it is to spend my days caring for children- partnering with their families to give them the best start in life. Helping them stay healthy and working to heal them when they are sick.
I remain profoundly honored to be doing this work and deeply grateful to the families who have entrusted me to do it.
And so, thanks to my patients and their families, I move on to this new chapter of life with a renewed spirit, deeper knowledge, and a full and thankful heart.
I’ve been thinking a lot about parenting and self-care. Mostly about how, when things get busy, our self-care is often the first thing to go. This, despite evidence and anecdote that it really shouldn’t be. That taking care of ourselves actually makes us better parents. Continue reading
I’ve been working with the latest electronic medical record (EMR) for almost a year now. You know the one. There are many positive changes, to be sure. It has helped me more than a few times with calculating doses for kids’ medications. I can now easily check in on my patients’ progress when they are admitted to the hospital. And, of course, the notes are far more legible.
But what do the notes actually tell me? Sadly, sometimes, not much. Continue reading
Many thanks to all of you who have joined me here at My Two Hats in 2013. I continue to derive much joy from writing here and to learn so much from readers’ insights. I am ever grateful for the connections and friendships that My Two Hats has brought me.
Here’s a quick wrap-up of 2013. Continue reading
“Why shouldn’t quiet be strong?
And what else can quiet do that we don’t give it credit for?” -Susan Cain
*A while back in clinic a nine-year-old’s mom came in concerned about her son. Turns out that at the parent-teacher conference, her son’s teacher had said, “Your son is very quiet in school.” Even though her child was excelling academically, had great behavior, and truly enjoyed going to school, this statement stayed with his mom. She worried about it. Because in American society, being quiet, or “shy”, is not often seen as a positive quality. I hope that will change. Continue reading
This is the second post in a two-part series on fever in children. Last week Dr. Cara Barone provided excellent information regarding why children get fevers, how to measure your child’s temperature, and whether to worry or discuss with your physician. This week I’m back to review when and how to treat fever in kids. Continue reading
I’m delighted to welcome guest Cara Barone, MD, FAAP to My Two Hats this week. Dr. Barone is a pediatrician and mother of two. She did her pediatric residency in the Boston Combined Pediatric Program and a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston. She happily practices general pediatrics at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in the Palo Alto, CA division. Dr. Barone has written a great post about fever. Please read on to learn more from her about this very common child health concern.
Every day in clinic I talk about fevers, fever-reducing medicines, and taking temperatures. This parental concern has been an absolute mainstay throughout my pediatric career and transcends all age groups in pediatric medicine. Continue reading