Children's Healthcare

it was a dark and stormy....week

I have written before about being "on service" for a week on the pediatric inpatient unit.

I love it. I hate it. It's fun. It's exhausting. It's happy. It's sad. But mostly its never dull.


This week just past was no exception. Monday though Friday felt like it happened too fast. I was sooo tired by the end of the week, but I felt fulfilled. It was a difficult week. There were many unknowns, and much sadness, but it was totally worthwhile.

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what is meningitis anyway?


When I read something on the internet or elsewhere  about meningitis, or especially about the "meningitis vaccine" it strikes me that the ubiquitous use of the noun without an appropriate adjective could be confusing for most people. Don't misunderstand me, I am not talking about adjectives like "bad," "awful," or "life-threatening." Rather, I am talking about the adjective that indicates the microbiological etiology of the problem--such as "meningococcal meningitis" or "hemophilus meningitis," or "pneumococcal meningitis," or even "viral meningitis"

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dear readers

Dear readers,

I thought you might like to see this article about me that appeared on the Carilion Clinic website 2 weeks ago. It is part of a series aimed at helping folks get to know the leaders at our institution. My apologies to those of you from Carilion Clinic who have already seen it--some of you have even sent me emails to say hello--that was something completely unexpected and truly welcomed.

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isnt' Twitter just for idiots? part 2

So, have you folllowed my advice, and joined Twitter?

Shortly after I wrote the last post I was gifted by discovering this article which had been written about me, and this blog,  and helps describe some of the tweets I share. By reading it you can get a good idea of how I use Twitter to share information, some of the joys in my life (such as when I capture a particularly interesting photo of a bird, other wildlife, a sunset, or snow), or to respond to others who live on the same medium.

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isn't twitter just for idiots?

I hear that question a lot. At faculty meetings, at medical conferences, from my children, my husband, and a wide variety of other folks. Really?


Well, I use Twitter often, and don't consider myself an idiot, at least not for that reason. I welcome other thoughts on the degree of my potential "idiotness" but I hope you have more reasons than because I use Twitter. Feel free to list them in the comments below.


I thought I would share with you what I have learned about using Twitter over the last year-and-a-half, so you could decide for yourself about its potential value for you. I will leave you with instructions on how to get started, in case you decide you would like to try.

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knowing when NOT to do something

Medical costs are out of control. Yet, outcomes are not improving. Why?


Greater minds than mine have grappled with that question, and it serves as the foundation for our ongoing debate about whether, why and how to reform healthcare. Do we limit the tests and procedures that doctors are allowed to order or perform? Do we limit what services or medications patients are allowed to receive? Or do we do something much smarter, and help to guide patients, their families and physicians in having a conversation about how useful certain tests or procedures might be?

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when doctors can't hear

We have discussed child abuse on this blog before, and I promised you more in a series I began last year. This time I want to tell you a story from when I was a medical student--admittedly some of you will consider this ancient history, and perhaps you should. I do not remember the names of my preceptors or the name of the patient. So there is little chance I will tell you anything I shouldn't. In fact, I don't even remember the name of the hospital where this rotation occurred. Yet I remember the patient, her husband, her daughter as if it were yesterday. 

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What got your attention in 2012

I feel like I am cheating, and I am to an extent. Writing my “greatest hits of 2012” for this blog, as so many others have done. Nothing new here. But I am glad you have come back to review the year as I have.

In 2012, I published 43 posts on this blog. All were read (or at least looked at) by several hundred different people. Some were more popular than others. I have listed here the “top ten” posts in 2012: in other words the ten posts that received the most views from you during the past 12 months. Here we go…

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if I had won Powerball

Did you see the happy winners in the papers or on the internet? A “once in a lifetime” moment.

For most, winning the lottery is not the godsend they have dreamt of.

To suddenly become part of the one per cent is not easy.  Most fritter away their winnings, and end up much less happy than they were before.  So I have thought about this a lot. What would I do if I won a huge amount of money? Of course, its not at all clear to me WHY I daydream about such an event, as I am by nature not a gambling kind of gal. And, they tell me, you can’t win if you don’t play.

So its not likely to happen.

On the other  hand, somehow, maybe some day it WILL happen. So I should be prepared. Don't you agree?

Here is how I would spend my money.

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warning: failure to vote can be hazardous to your child's health

Like me, you are probably sick and tired of the numerous negative ads on TV and radio for the presidential candidates. And you are tiered of picking up the phone to listen to a representative from the RNC or DNC urging you to vote for their candidate. You might be scared of what could happen if the “other” candidate wins.

This is a high stakes election for many reasons. I am not going to tell you HOW to vote, just that you MUST VOTE. I am distressed that there was no discussion of issues affecting the health of children by the presidential candidates. Therefore, you need to make you voice heard. The way to begin is to vote. Then you can urge the winner to do the right thing by and for our children.

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