How Are Pediatricians Saving Lives Today? (Archived Pedcast)

Learn how pediatricians are saving children in today’s world.

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With Medical Rx in Kids, “Less is Often More” (Pedcast)


Hello and welcome, I am your host, Dr. Paul Smolen, a board certified pediatrician with 37 years of practice. The other day, I was having a conversation with a mother about fever seizures. Her child had had one of these seizures and she found it extremely frightening. That’s understandable. Anyone who has seen a child have a generalized convulsion can understand this mom’s dread. During a seizure, it looks like the child is dying right in front of you.  I was explaining to this mom that fever seizures are almost always benign, are almost never harmful to the child, require no treatment, and are not even considered epilepsy. That led us into a discussion of a whole host of illnesses and symptoms that just 40 years ago were felt to “require” treatment but that was then and today is now! Today many symptoms and conditions don’t require treatment and are recognized as temporary states that will resolve with time.  In today’s pedcast, I thought it might be fun to go over some of the conditions and symptoms that pediatricians no longer recommend treatment for. Oh, what a difference a few decades can make. Stay tuned for about 10 minutes and I will show you just how much change there has been. Continue reading

More Cooperation/Healthier Kids (Pedcast)


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

Best Docs Listen, Observe, and Test (Pedcast)


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

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