Southwest Virginia

learning to walk

My babies were delivered the third week of June. They spent two weeks getting fed a variety of information, most of which they have probably already forgotten. Then, on Monday, July 2, they began their three-year journey toward becoming the world’s best pediatricians.

Read more

how to comment on a blog

I routinely have folks approach me in the halls, or through my email inbox with comments about my blog. When I ask them why they don’t write a comment on the blog page, they look at me as if I have asked them to light themselves on fire. What? Me? I can’t comment on your blog! I am not ___ enough (insert any adjective you like, I have heard them all). Really? Some people also think that the blog will yield up too much information about them. Not this blog. So I thought I would take a few minutes and offer advice for first-time commenters.

Read more


Have you ever wondered how some people face terrible adversity in their lives and just seem to be able to pick themselves up and start all over?

Do you think these folks are less affected by their adversity than others? Are they less “emotional”?

Well, I have been thinking a lot about resilience lately, and thought I would share some of my thoughts. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I often take inspiration for my posts by reflecting upon observations I make of birds in my back yard.

Read more

my babies are coming

Well, you and I both know they aren't really babies, but they will feel like my children for the next three years--and probably for the rest of my life. Our first pediatric residents arrive on Monday, June 18.


They will spend two weeks getting oriented and acclimated to their new "home" and will start working as physicians on July 1 or 2. Today I received their blackberry numbers and their photos. They all have institutional email addresses. Most of them probably don't know this information yet. I am so excited I can barely contain myself.

I see this time as a "coming of age" of our pediatric program.

Read more

the third part

I have got to give you credit for coming back and sticking with me. Yes, my interview with Mike Wallace really did happen, and yes, today I am going to tell you about it. One of the reasons I have been "stalling" is because I wanted to show you some clips, but I cannot find any. CBS only has clips on its website back to 1993, none before. I know I have a VHS of the program, but: a) I can't find it and b) even if I could find it I wouldn't have a clue how to turn it into a format that I could upload to You Tube and embed in this blog. I know, I am disappointing you by my lack of technical prowess. But for now, you will just have to depend upon my memory. It wasn't totally clear what Mr.

Read more

on excellence-an open letter to our incoming pediatric residents, and to graduating medical students everywhere

This is graduation season. I have given a number of graduation talks to residents beginning a new facet of their careers. I thought I would share parts of the last graduation speech I was invited to give to the finishing pediatric residents at the University of Maryland Medical System and School of Medicine, before I left there to start the newest facet of my career at Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital. Excellence has been on my mind lately, as I contemplate the start of our new Pediatric residency. And so instead of waiting until they are going out into the world at large following their training with us, I would like to share my feelings about excellence as they get ready to start.

 Dear in-coming resident:

Read more

the five bravest things our nurses do

We are coming to the end of “the week of the nurse” and I have come to the end of another week on service on the pediatric floor.

It is embarrassing to me that I don’t ALWAYS stop to thank the nurses I work with for their bravery.

What? Bravery? What’s that got to do with nursing?

Nurses give out medicines, tend to patients’ and parents’ needs, and carry out doctors’ “orders” RIGHT? Well, yes, but there is so much more, especially on a pediatric unit (and probably on adult units as well, but I can only write about what I know).

So this post is dedicated to the dedication and bravery of our pediatric nurses and the wonderful things they helped me and the rest of the health care team do this past week.

Read more

the hidden academic

There is something that most of us “academic types” do that often goes unrecognized, and is almost always undervalued. However, it is a big part of my life, and I thought you might enjoy learning about it. Of course you might think it’s total nonsense, and that’s OK too. Just bear with me for a few moments.

Are you trying to guess what I am thinking? What this post is about?

It’s about reviewing manuscripts that have been submitted for possible publication in medical and scientific journals.

This is the story of PEER REVIEW

Read more

mother versus baby

The tragedy of neonatal abstinence is all around us.

This video was forwarded to me by one of our operations efficiency engineers who works with the physicians and nurses in our neonatal intensive care unit. Our approach to the treatment of these fragile babies is slightly different, as we attempt to get the infants and moms together, preferably at home after their initial stabilization. Nonetheless, the description of the suffering these babies go through is very clear.

Read more

Is it really OK to sleep with your baby?

Here is a post I am most eager for you all to read. It is submitted by Vanessa Freville, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital. She is a former PICU nurse, pediatric Emergency Department NP, and currently works with the hospitalist group in the in-patient area. Vanessa is very passionate about keeping our infants and children safe. She is an active member of the Roanoke SafeKids alliance. In honor of SIDS awareness week, she wrote this post to encourage conversation and exploration of the practice of SAFE SLEEP in infants. I suspect this one may engender many comments. Please let us know your opinions, positive or negative.

How many parents have shared their own bed or fallen asleep with their baby at some point?

Read more


Subscribe to RSS - Southwest Virginia