Tag Archives: Book review

Dr. M’s Women and Children First Podcast #51 – Paul Smolen, MD – Parenting Class

This weeks guest is my friend, Dr. Paul Smolen, also known as Doc Smo by his friends, is a pediatrician with 38 years of experience caring for children and families. He is a graduate of Duke University (1974), Rutgers Medical School (1978), and Wake Forest University-N.C. Baptist Hospital (1982). At Wake Forest University he completed a residency in general pediatrics, served as chief resident, and completed a fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics. For over 38 years, he was an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill helping to train a generation of medical students and pediatric residents as well as author several research papers. He is also the author of two parenting books,  Can Doesn’t Mean Should (2015) and Great Kids Don’t Just Happen (2019). Doc Smo is a bona-fide expert in knowing what parents want and need to know about parenting and child health. Imparting practical and useful advice is the goal of every “Pedcast” that he produced over his podcasting career.
This week we discuss his book Great Kids Don’t Just Happen.
Dr. M

Dr. M’s Women and Children First Podcast #35 Sheila Kilbane, MD – Healthy Kids

This weeks guest is my good friend Dr. Sheila Kilbane. She is a fellow pediatrician and onion peeler of root causes of children’s diseases. Her background found her studying Zoology at Miami University before attending The Ohio State University College of Medicine. After completing her Pediatric training she went on to obtain a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. We share many desires to help families achieve immune and health solvency through upstream target manipulation that leads to happiness. Today we discuss Dr. Kilbane’s view of this world as well as her book, Healthy Kids, Happy Moms.


Dr. M

Healthy Kids, Happy Moms by Sheila Kilbane M.D., (Book Review Pedcast)


Welcome to another installment of DocSmo.com, also known as Women and Children First podcast. I’ve taken a hiatus from weekly posts for the past year but I haven’t stopped exploring pediatrics and parenting. Today, I’m going to review a new book by Dr. Sheila Kilbane called “Healthy Kids, Happy Moms”. Those of you who are long time DocSmo.com followers will recognize Dr. Kilbane’s name as she has been a frequent guest on my podcast in the past. Her interviews have been very popular. Now, she has stepped up to being a published author/educator. If after reading my comments you are interested in getting a copy of her book, buy it with the link provided in this post and help support DocSmo.com. You will get Amazon’s best price and a they will throw a few cents to support my blog.

Purpose of Book
Dr. Kilbane has told me numerous times in the past that she is trying to change American pediatric healthcare. After reading Healthy Kids, Happy Moms, I now understand what she meant; a new paradigm to providing health guidance for children with common chronic medical problems. Dr. Kilbane seems to be getting in on the ground level of change by adopting a wider view of disease in children. A quick Amazon book search only revealed two other books with an “Integrative” approach to pediatric medicine. Readers with children suffering from various chronic diseases will benefit most from her writing, introducing the basic concepts of integrative medicine to readers and providing parents with a roadmap to recovery. The topics most discussed are ones all too familiar to parents of young children; chronic constipation, eczema, asthma, food allergies, and recurring ear infections. As she points out, the percentage of children suffering from one of these disorders has been steadily increasing. HKHM says it’s time to try a new approach and presents a clear roadmap to doing so.

Characteristics of Book
Dr. Kilbane has done her homework not only in the research she presents in her book, but also in its presentation. I found the graphics easily understandable and pleasing to the eye. By using the same color scheme throughout the book, the reader is gently introduced to a lot of material in a cohesive way. As I read HKHM, I never felt overwhelmed. Dr. Kilbane’s storytelling ability and her revelations about her own health struggles during childhood, add a pleasing intimacy to her book. The strongest adjectives I can use to describe HKHMs are informative, practical, and well presented.

Providers of healthcare are in the business of offering advice and treatments that is intended to help mitigate or prevent disease. This is our core mission. Pediatricians, whether integrative like Dr. Kilbane or traditionally trained like myself, come at children’s health problems with a set of beliefs and assumptions that evolve and change over time. Take for instance the recent revelation that the treating of young children’s ear infections with antibiotics may have long term negative consequence for the health. Similarly, could today’s anti-inflammatory diet become tomorrow’s nutrient deficient one? I don’t know. While I believe that integrative medicine has moved healthcare advice in the right direction and that much of what they advocate has proven correct, ten years from now we may look back at some of today’s recommendations and see that such advice was shortsighted or not appropriate for all children.

HKHM presents a number of emerging theories as if they are facts, specifically inflammation underpinning all chronic disease, process foods causing leaky gut, and processed food being the proximate cause of damaging inflammation in a child’s body. While these theories may hold up to the test of time, there is a chance that they may not. I feel like this is important for parents to keep in mind as they make decisions about their children’s diet.

And finally, like so much of healthcare, I think its practitioners often over promise results of their advice and under estimate the expense and time commitment required for families to adopt a new lifestyle. Additionally, the natural history of many of the chronic conditions Dr. Kilbane focuses on is improvement and disappearance with time, making it all the more difficult to determine whether it’s the integrative approach is actually working or simply the tincture of time.

HKHM is a well written, engaging book for parents who are looking for an integrative health approach (primarily dietary) to their children’s well-being. For those parents looking for an alternative approach to many of pediatrics most common chronic health problems, this is a valuable and practical resource. I hope it is well read by today’s parents. The science and recommendations are presented in a clear and understandable fashion. In summary, parents who have children with many chronic common health problems and who are willing to embark on a course of elimination diets and supplements, will derive great benefit from this book. I give it 5/5 Doc Smo stars.

Dr. Paul Smolen “Docsmo”

Link to Book: Healthy Kids, Happy Moms


Dr. M’s SPA Newsletter Audiocast Volume 12 Issue 34

Issue 34

This week we look at The Truth About Lying, Acid Suppressors and Asthma Risk, Testicular Concerns and Obesity.
Adults lie? Shocker.
According to the research, most adults lie 1-2 times per day, but most lies are not damaging and often related to self inflation for ego or to spare another’s feelings. That is great news. Most people are honest most of the time! Ok. Now that we understand that most people are good what are the realities of the others? What do our kids see in us? Over the coming months I am going to dissect Dr. Talwar’s book for you in sections as I see them. You can get a big head start on all of this information by listening to the podcast #25 with Dr. Talwar herself.
Have a great day,
Dr. M