Momwithastethoscope's Weblog

September 15, 2009

Loving Pediatric Medicine – the anti-rant

Filed under: Office,pediatrics,positive medicine — momwithastethoscope @ 7:21 am
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Reason Number 15: Books 2.  Books for Doctors by (mostly) Doctors

How Doctors Think  by Jerome Groopman, MD  This 2007 publication by Hematologist-Oncologist Groopman was billed as the layperson’s guide to a physician’s thought process.  Some of the mechanics of MD thinking can be found in heuristics which are not necessarily evidence based.  For me, Groopman points to potential pitfalls in medical decision making that I now apply to everyday care.  Loaded with examples including pediatric cases, Groopman navigates with curiosity and doesn’t condescend.

Complications:  A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande, MD. The son of a pediatrician and urologist, Dr. Gawande published his first book, a collection of essays,in 2002.  Few books existed prior to Complicationsthat addressed mistakes in medicine with Gawande’s candor.  In my own medical education, I received little training about how to handle mistakes.  Most were dealt with from a liability/risk standpoint with as scant information as possible shared  with family or patient.   It is Gawande’s thirst for a better way that has taught me that more communication between doctor & family/patient/parent  is needed, not less.

Baby Doctorby Perri Klass, MD.  Passed from fellow student to fellow student, this book was mandatory reading for all of the first year medical students who declared pediatrics as their specialty of choice.  Wishy-washy and leaning to a more surgical specialty (as much as a first year, twenty-something can lean) I attended Dr. Klass’s book signing at my school on a whim.  Pediatrician.  Nah. Not me.  Writer. Nah. Not Me, either.  Fast forward 20 years and Dr. Klass has been by long-distance mentor.  She changed diapers when no-one else would on rounds.  She knits during (otherwise boring) meetings.  She writes across the genres.  Trying to link to this book, I find that it is now out of print.  For wannabe pediatricians – this one is a must-read!

Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, 8th Editionby Benjamin Spock, MD A tried and true favorite.  “You know more than you think you do.” is a Spock mantra I’ve uttered on more than one middle of the night run to hospital and my own son’s nursery.

Touchpoints The Essential Reference:  Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Developmentby T. Berry Brazelton, MD  Truly an essential reference.  Touchpoints taught me children are never too young to have emotions – that issues like night waking or biting can stem from these emotions and transitions to new stages – and to interpret for parents what’s going on in the mind of a young child. 

In the Blink of an Eye:  Inside a Children’s Trauma Centerby Alan Doelp  This book cemented my committment to the powers of prevention – especially as they apply to pediatrics.  If I can prevent one of these traumatic events from happening to a child, I’ve done my job.

How to Say No to Your Toddler: Creating a Safe, Rational, and Effective Discipline Program for Your 9-month to 3 year Old by William  G. Wilkoff, MD  True confession time:  I have not read this book…BUT… I have faithfully read Dr. Wilkoff’s column written from his pediatric practice in Maine for 8 years.  As I searched his name on Amazon – I realize he’s written 4 books, but his columns are still what I look forward to each month. 

Selected Poems (William Carols Williams) by William Carols Williams, MD  Dr. Williams was a pediatrician who composed some of his poetry on the insides of his prescription pads. 

  “By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northwest—a cold wind.”
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), U.S. poet. Spring and All (l. 1-4). . . The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams; Vol. 1, 1909-1939. A. Walton Litz and Christopher MacGowan, eds. (1986) New Directions.


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