The specialist dilemma

>Kilynn Sommer, a marketing and communications coordinator in the Public Relations department at Children’s and a mother of a 2-year-old son, explains the importance of pediatric specialists:

As I waited for another much-dreaded doctor’s appointment, I couldn’t help but notice the number of young patients who were sitting alongside me to see my doctor, an adult specialist. These days, there seems to be a specialist for just about anything. But a recent issue of Parents Magazine reports a national shortage of pediatric specialists. This leaves parents with a dilemma: Travel a potentially long distance to see a pediatric specialist or resort to taking a child to a doctor who treats mostly adults.

I saw the value and importance of taking my child to a pediatric specialist when I first looked into putting my little one into soccer. While any soccer coach understands the game, would you send your toddler to learn soccer from a high school coach? While the tantrums are likely to be the same (on my son’s part anyway), I can guarantee a 2-year-old has you beat, when he says “no” to direction given by the coach.

This same idea should be thought of when choosing a physician or specialist for your child. While an adult specialist may be completely competent in his or her field, the doctor may or may not know the latest treatments available for taking care of a child or have a pediatric-trained staff or pediatric-specific equipment.

In the past three years, more than 180 new pediatric specialists and sub-specialists have come to Dallas to serve on the Children’s medical staff in areas including Urology, Cardiac Care and Neurology, to name only a few. We recognize that fewer doctors are choosing pediatric subspecialties in school, so at Children’s Medical Center, we strive to recruit the best and the brightest to serve North Texas families. Our Plano, TX, hospital — Children’s Medical Center at Legacy — was created to expand our pediatric-specific services to the northern sector of the Metroplex, making it easier for parents to choose pediatric specialists for their children’s care whether it’s for ENT issues, sports injuries or after-hours emergencies. And keep an eye out for a Children’s specialty clinic in your area. We’re planning to open more of them so that we can bring our specialists into the communities that need them most.

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One Response to The specialist dilemma

  1. Janet March 22, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    >Great point! The physical and emotional needs of children are very different from the needs of adults. My son's clavicle was broken during sports when he was 14. Because his growth plate was still open, it was a great comfort to have a pediatric specialist available. My son healed beautifully and returned to competitive sports with no complications.

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