Not So Secret Secrets

Welcome to our “Not so Secret Secrets of Doctors!”

Lena and I are creating this blog to share some of the lessons we have learned in our combined 20 years of “doctoring.” We are passionate providers of pediatric care and want to share some of the latest research and hot topics in child health and well being with you.

Lena and I met a decade ago, while we were both working on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona. I had gone to rural America convinced that I would spend my career there. My journey through my five years on the reservation is a long story that will no doubt be an entry here at some point, but the short version is that I saw a child die almost every month in my five years on the reservation. Infectious disease, poverty, drug use, suicide and accidents occur in as high a rate there as in many underdeveloped countries. It was a very hard job.

When I made the move to Oregon in 2009, the United States was in the recession, and though I thought that I would change from being a federal employee to joining a private practice, I found that decisions necessary for the local pediatric groups to financially survive were just too hard. The private practice in town that had served much of the Medicaid community for the prior 30 years had to stop taking new Medicaid patients at a time when many families were losing their income and needing state supplied insurance. Refusing to see patients who needed care because of finances felt wrong to me, so I took a job as an employee with our local community health center. It has been an interesting transition. Small town politics, changing patient demographics, and lack of mental health resources have had a profound effect on practicing medicine in this town. National debates touch us too. Whooping cough outbreaks, meningococcal outbreaks, and teen suicide are issues in our community. Measles has come to Oregon via Disneyland, though not to either of our pediatric practices yet. We are well aware that Oregon has the highest childhood vaccination exemption rate in the country.

I hope you enjoy our perspectives and use our blog as a resource and sounding board.

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