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What made you go into medicine? 

As a young child, I was inspired by my own pediatrician. According to my mother, I decided in preschool that I was going to be a pediatrician. Of course, many times along my education journey I considered other careers, but I always came back to the plan to pursue a career in pediatric medicine. I can honestly say that if I had to start all over again I would choose the same career. I can’t imagine doing more rewarding work. 

What is your favorite medicine memory?

I honestly don’t have a favorite memory. Rather, each day when I leave work, I am able to reflect on my day and know that there is a reason every day that I was meant to be there. Pediatrics is a career where I can honestly say that each day I have at least one opportunity to make a difference for a patient in at least some small way.

What is the best thing you have seen Telemedicine do in your practice?

Telemedicine has allowed me to be a better pediatrician in so many ways. It has given me an opportunity to connect with and care for patients who might otherwise have gone without visits or necessary care. Early in the pandemic, I was able to continue to see my patients for well care by telemedicine and provide needed guidance, even if they were not comfortable coming into the office. 

I can better care for my patients when I am on call at night and they are experiencing an acute illness or injury. In one case, this allowed for a more timely diagnosis of appendicitis.  I can provide continuity of care for my college patients with mental health conditions when they are away from home. Without this option, they would likely go without the mental health care they need. 

My most memorable Telemedicine experiences have been acute emergencies that occurred at home where I was able to assist parents until paramedics arrived; in one telemedicine visit a child was experiencing a severe allergic reaction. Seeing how ill the child appeared was what allowed me to convince the mom that she needed to call 911. The child had profuse vomiting and mom didn’t realize this was part of anaphylaxis and I might have missed it if I was on a phone and couldn’t “see” the child.

In another telemedicine visit a toddler was choking on a piece of plastic he had ingested.  We did not know at that time what he had ingested or that he had ingested anything.  The toddler had what appeared to be mild respiratory distress and it was his appearance that made me think he had ingested something – parents had no idea.  I was able to advise his dad to try a few back blows to encourage coughing/bringing it up which happened as the paramedics arrived.

It means so much to parents to know they are not alone, and their pediatrician is virtually at their side as they experience some of their most frightening moments as parents. 

How has Simply Speak changed your practice of medicine?

Simply Speak has been life changing for me–I am not exaggerating! For many years I have used an EMR in my office. As someone who aims to be efficient in my charting, this means that the EMR inherently takes away from my ability to be present for my patients. Using Simply Speak brings back the feeling I had in my early years of practice; no longer do I feel like a computer is coming between me and my patient during a visit. Having the luxury of time to connect with my patient and keep my eyes off the EMR and on my patient, yet knowing I will have a great note at the end of the visit, brings more joy to my work, more efficiency to my day and truly contributes to my own personal wellness.

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