Best Docs Listen, Observe, and Test (Pedcast)

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Introduction

Welcome to another edition of Portable Practical Pediatrics! I’m your host Dr. Paul Smolen, also known as Doc Smo. From gestation all the way to graduation, if it involves children, we discuss it here. Today we are going to take on the question of what trait or traits make a great physician? How do you know if you have a just an average pediatrician or you’ve got one that is a cut above? Are the best doctors the ones that got the highest scores on exams in med school or the ones who have seen the most patients? Or are the best doctors the ones that are the friendliest, best looking, and have the best bedside manner? Since I have been practicing and teaching pediatrics now going on 36 years, the question of good doctoring traits is one that I have pondered for some time. Certainly, excellence involves a lot of factors but here is what I have concluded after a my long career in medicine; the doctors who are the best observers, take sufficient time and attention to get a thorough understanding of the child’s symptoms, and then judiciously do testing to either confirm or deny their conclusions–those are the best physicians. In short, the best physicians are the ones that are the best listeners. The famous physician of the 19th century, William Osler who help found the Johns Hopkins Medical Center, said it best when he remarked, “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis.” In medicine, this is called getting a good history.  Today we are going to explore the art of diagnosis from a doctor’s perspective. I am going to pull the curtain back on the diagnostic process behind your child’s visit to the pediatrician and explore things you can do to maximize the value of your child’s next visit to their health care provider. Continue reading

What if Grandma Had Refused Vaccines? (Pedcast)

Banner Photograph, courtesy of Rare historical Photographs-Link in Smo Notes

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Introduction

It’s the summer of 1952 (the year I was born) and America is at the peak of the polio epidemic and America is paying a heavy price. More than 21,000 people, contracted paralytic polio in 1952 alone. 3000 of them died and many were children. Every mom knew that polio was a summer disease. As the swimming pools opened and the temperature got hotter, parents were terrified that their children would be afflicted. Thank goodness that 1952 also happened to be the year that Jonas Salk perfected an effective polio vaccine that put a halt to the trauma America had experienced at the mercy of this horrible viral disease. Most of you probably knew all that, but in today’s pedcast, I want you to give some thought about what would have unfolded for subsequent generations, had our grandmothers  been vaccine refusers. What would have happened if they had hesitated to vaccinate  their children like so many parents are tempted to do today in the growing anti-vaccine climate that exists in America now? So, don’t you dare move onto another podcast in your queue and miss this important edition of Portable Practical Pediatrics. Continue reading

Money Saving Tips for New Parents (Pedcast)

 


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Doc Smo here, talking Portable Practical Pediatrics. From the bassinet to the boardroom, if it involves children, we talk about it here. I meet with brand new parents and their new babies on a daily basis. Of course during these visits, we talk about the important topics of safe sleep, flu and pertussis immunizations for family members, the importance of natural light for babies, and the importance of having newborn babies avoid unnecessary exposure to places and situations where they might pick up an infectious disease.  I also make a point to also get around to some tips that have the potential of saving them literally thousands of dollars during their baby’s early infancy. I thought my blog audience would enjoy hearing these tips and taking advantage of the same cost savings that my patients families do. Parents of newborns have the daunting task of not only raising their little Johnny or Janie, but also funding their entire childhood. Money is always tight and every dollar saved can be put to use for other family needs. What is the old expression, “A penny saved is a penny earned”? Nothing could be truer so here we go with Doc Smo’s money saving suggestions for parents with new babies. You don’t want to miss this pedcast. Continue reading

Myths and Facts about Strep Throat (Pedcast)

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Introduction

If you are a regular listener of Portable Practical Pediatrics, you’ve heard me say things like, “From mommy all the way to matriculation”, if it involves children, we talk about it here. That’s my way of saying that I take on a variety of topics in this blog.  Today is no exception. In today’s podcast,  I am going to broaden your understanding of strep infections in children by telling you a story, a story that happened in my family almost a hundred years ago so stay tuned for a very interesting and historical edition of Portable Practical Pediatrics. Continue reading

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