This blog is about child health and parenting. It is also about what I do: a finely balanced mix of doctoring, and, since the fall of 2010, parenting (and trying not to doctor) my own child.
You, as parents and families, are the best protectors of and advocates for the health of your family and your children. But for many of the parents I know, it often feels difficult to find the right tools to do so. At times it seems that there is too much information, other times there is not enough information or you can’t find the answer to your particular question. And information about parenting and child health is often conflicting: how do you know whom to believe?
As a pediatrician, I can help. In my office and in this blog, I act as an interpreter, an advisor, and a guide for parents in their quest for a healthy family.
Sorting through health information is not easy, however, even for doctors. Sometimes I need advice myself. I learn as much from parents and caregivers as I teach them, and will look to them for thoughts and experiences in this blog. And I will talk with experts to get their take on particularly thorny or complex issues.
In search of the best sources of information about parenting and child health, I will give my thoughts about the latest word on the street and in the news. And I will tell you about some books and websites that I think are worthwhile.
Everyday I hear hilarious, heart-wrenching, and thought-provoking stories from the families that I take care of. I hear about parental fears and joys, about exhaustion and exhilaration, about hopes and disappointments, about proud moments and about guilt.
As many of us do, I learn through storytelling. And so I will tell lots of stories–about patients, about parents, about my family and myself.
My aim is to help parents build healthy families by arming them with knowledge and tools, as well as a bit of lightness and laughter.
I am in a quest to help you keep your kids healthy while you maintain your sanity. Or at least to help you enjoy more and worry less along the way.
Not to be too lawyerly, but…. Please note that this blog is not intended to be a source for medical advice when your child is ill or a substitute for professional care. I trust that you will seek care from your own pediatrician or health care provider when appropriate.
More About Me
I was raised in western North Carolina but I lost my southern accent intermittently during summers spent in Colorado and finally when I went to college in New Jersey.
At Princeton University I studied religious thought and practice around the world. Only in modern times have healing and religion been separate fields of study. I think that science and magic can and should co-exist.
I attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania where I began to learn the practice of medicine in a busy urban teaching hospital, and also learned the immense value of ordering cheese whiz rather than provolone on a Philly cheesesteak.
Along the way I lived in India for a year and worked in hospitals in Guatemala, Uganda, and on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico, where I learned to be grateful for the luxury that allows my patients to fret over the small things.
I moved to northern California for the diversity, the hills, the sea, the food, and the cutting-edge spirit, and completed my pediatric residency at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).
I now work in a busy outpatient practice in San Francisco where I take care of many amazing kids and families. I like to think of myself as a young, hip, approachable pediatrician. My teenage patients think I’m dorky, but I must be a little cool: they say things like “It hurt like hell,” and then realize that they’re talking to me and say, sheepishly, “I mean heck.” I take that as a compliment.
My daughters Lucy and Anabel are alternately impossibly cute and little terrorists. They are much adored and only occasionally the subject of my doctor experiments. Though I sometimes suffer from working-mom-blues when I miss an important event in their lives, I am confident that having a doctor mommy will leave a positive mark on them.
The Skinny on My Credentials
Undergraduate Education: Princeton University, BA, Religion
Medical School: University of Pennsylvania
Residency: University of California, San Francisco
Board Certification: American Board of Pediatrics
Current practice: General Outpatient Pediatrics, San Francisco, CA
Letters: MD, FAAP (Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics)
Teaching Appointment: Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF