Healthcare Policy

Dr. M’s Women and Children First Podcast – Omicron Update

COVID Omicron Update:
There is a ton of interesting information flying around about Omicron and the pandemic in general. Today, I breakdown the new variant and what we know overall. It is time to get the facts out there and not just the case volume hype.
COVID Omicron Update: Let’s breakdown the new variant and what we know overall.We need a new look at this situation. The world according to SARS2 Covid 19 Delta is changing to a newer Omicron reality. What does this mean?
Enjoy,
Dr. M

Dr. M’s Women and Children First Podcast #11 – Dr. EA Quinn, Breastfeeding Through History

Dr. EA Quinn and I had a wide ranging discussion on breastmilk from an evolutionary perspective for podcast episode #11.
Dr. Quinn is a biological anthropologist with a specialty in human biology. Her research is broadly focused on understanding the ways in which human milk is an essential part of human biological variation and how such variation has been selected for by different ecological pressures.
Her primary research project at present is Infancy @Altitude, a longitudinal birth cohort study of ethnic Tibetan mothers and infants living in the Nubri Valley, Nepal. She is investigating the ways in which ecological pressures – in this case the ecological pressures of hypoxia, chronic cold stress, shorter growing seasons, UV radiation, and infectious diseases – create selective pressures on human milk and how this translates into adaptive patterns of child growth.
One of the major findings of this research was elevated milk fat in the high altitude sample compared to other previously studied human populations and lower levels of metabolic hormones than predicted based on maternal body composition.
Breastmilk is a magical human derived food and medicine all wrapped up into one. The magnificence of human milk is on full display during this hour long podcast.
I hope that you enjoy my conversation with Dr. EA Quinn,
Dr. M

4 Pediatric Studies Every Parent Needs to Know About (Pedcast)

Introduction

Welcome, I am Dr. Paul Smolen, also known as Doc Smo and this is Portable Practical Pediatrics. Every once in a while I like to give my listeners a glimpse of what is new in pediatric research that can translate into practical knowledge.  I’m not talking about new high tech treatments for exotic diseases but rather new information that most parents can use in their everyday parenting. So here goes with a conversation about four, high quality, peer reviewed articles that I think you will find interesting. Stay engaged, stay informed, and of course, stay tuned.  Today’s pedcast is brought to you by audible, the new way to digest books. For me, Audible has become my preferred method of exploring books, whether I am cutting the grass or driving in the car. Expand your world today by subscribing to audible. Just hit the link that accompanies this podcast to get started. Continue reading

More Cooperation/Healthier Kids (Pedcast)

Introduction

I know, you are wondering if it will be worth your time to listen to a pedcast that has such a strange name, More Cooperation/Healthier Kids. Let me assure you that it will be. While the topic today is not disease specific, it is vital that you be made aware of when your child’s healthcare system is falling short. And let me tell you, it’s falling short. Having spent my entire adult life working in healthcare, I know some of the system’s deficiencies which is exactly what we are going to talk about today. My topic today is every bit as important as parents learning about how to manage fever or teaching their infants how to get good nights sleep. Your child’s well being depends on their healthcare system working seamlessly with one purpose… to improve their health. Continue reading

The Chickenpox/ Shingles Story (Pedcast)

Voice introduction

I was having a discussion the other day with the mom of one of my patients. She was asking me why we vaccinate children against chickenpox; a disease that her mother told her was a benign mild childhood illness that doesn’t hurt kids.  Keep in mind that almost none of the parents of my current patients have ever seen or had any experience with the disease of chickenpox.  The disease is virtually gone in the United States so everything parents know today is based on what they have heard.  This particular mom had so many questions and a few misconceptions about chickenpox. Because of this I thought many of my blog listeners probably have many of the same questions, so today were going to talk about the disease known as chickenpox: the myths and facts and the rationale behind vaccinating today’s children. Why do we bother vaccinating for a harmless childhood illness? Continue reading

Computers Taking the Care Out of Healthcare? (Pedcast)

Opinions expressed in this pedcast are solely my own!

Introduction

Ever wonder why so many doctors today have such negative attitudes about their jobs, why so many are retiring early, and why so many wouldn’t want their children becoming doctors. I thought becoming a doctor was synonymous with success? So why are these highly successful people, today’s doctors, not smiling? One word, computers.   Specifically, I am talking about the introduction of the electronic medical record, also called EMR, into their daily lives.  Say the letters EMR to most doctors today in the US, and stand back– you will get a very strong emotional response.  Today, a pediatrician’s day is spent almost entirely with a computer screen and keyboard. Because of this sad fact, I am going to do something that I have never done before in my six years of blogging, I am going to weigh in on some of the choices our governmental leaders, our computer scientists, our insurance executives, and our pharmaceutical executives have made in shaping today’s healthcare system. I want to pull back the curtain a little and let my listeners get a feel for what today’s pediatricians are up against as they go about their day to day jobs and maybe start a conversation about improving things. Continue reading

Parent’s Guide to Childhood Immunization (Book Review Pedcast)

Parent’s Guide to Childhood Immunization

Written and Published by the US Department of Health and Human Services/ Center for Disease Control

August 2015

Introduction

Interest in vaccine safety has been, and continues to be, a hot topic with parents and the media. Unfortunately, from where I sit, the AAP and others professional organizations have been missing in action when it comes to mounting an effective media campaign to educate parents and counter much of the misinformation parents are exposed to. I have been to professional meetings where my pediatrician colleagues have stood up and railed at our professional organization for not being very visible in this important debate. Given that as background, it was of great interest when I came across a new handbook, written and published by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC, laying out the facts including vaccine safety.  Maybe as the number of outbreaks of measles, whooping cough, and mumps continue to climb, organizations like these will put more effort toward countering the messaging from people and organizations that are opposed to vaccines.  I actually think this beginning to happen since many state legislatures, public health groups, and even the AAP have been becoming more public about their support for vaccines. My guess is that it will take at least five positive vaccine messages to counter the unrealistic fear that one negative message about vaccines can create. Multiple positive messages from multiple reliable sources, on an ongoing basis, are what are needed. That’s why is this handbook is significant in my opinion so let’s get into the details of my review. Continue reading