Clinical Assistant Professor
General Pediatrics; Pediatrics
I am a board-certified pediatrician who cares for children from birth to age 22. I specialize in pediatric hospital medicine, focusing on patients hospitalized with complex medical problems that defy a simple diagnosis, or those with multiple chronic medical conditions requiring, for example, home ventilators or gastrostomy tubes, or patients with rare diseases such as Menkes disease. Most of my patients require multidisciplinary care. I have extensive experience with complex medical care and collaborative medical coordination; as a result, my patients receive the best possible care, as I collaborate with every type of subspecialist, including pulmonologists, geneticists, endocrinologists, surgeons and rheumatologists.
I also have extensive experience as a primary care physician. This, together with my hospital experience, helps me give my patients and their families everything they need to navigate the hospital system from the moment they enter the emergency room to the time of discharge. My primary care experience is also a great asset in understanding the progression of illness, and I bring this expertise to every patient I care for. I lead the patient experience team at the Oishei Children’s Hospital, which means I review patient feedback and make decisions that continually improve the hospital experience of families.
I have several research foci. I conduct research on: 1.) antibiotic use for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis and the treatment of withdrawal symptoms in infants prenatally exposed to both recreational and prescribed medications, 2.) the care of opioid-addicted newborns (neonatal abstinence syndrome) and how they respond to medical treatment, with a goal of identifying better ways to treat these newborns and 3.) the use of high-flow nasal cannula for breathing support, for patients using this apparatus outside the ICU setting. I also focus on quality care initiatives such as the multidisciplinary care of patients as it applies to the family’s global hospital experience. My goal is to translate findings into improved medical care and ancillary services for hospitalized pediatric patients.
I teach medical students and family medicine and pediatrics residents, and I supervise them as they care for hospitalized patients. I teach evidence-based medicine at the bedside during family-centered rounds, in case presentations and in the classroom. My lectures to medical students include topics such as croup and epiglottitis.
My trainees benefit from my extensive primary care background. Sending patients to the hospital, and then caring for them when they return home has given me valuable experience: I understand what brings patients into the hospital from their primary care physicians, and I know how to transfer their care into a hospital setting. I also know what patients need to make a successful transition from the hospital to home — for example, how to dose a medication simply so that parents can understand and administer it — and what primary care physicians need to offer patients both before and after they are hospitalized, e.g., follow-up care, nursing support, help with medications. I impart this knowledge, this practical side of medicine, to my trainees.
Families come to the hospital with diverse backgrounds. I teach my trainees how to support families and learn their stories — without judging them — in order to give their children the best possible care. We care for teens who have tried to take their own lives, for example. I encourage my trainees to understand their patients’ backgrounds and the factors that drove them to their decisions. In modeling professional behavior to my trainees, I teach them to approach patients and their families with respect and compassion.
I want my trainees to be curious. I teach that not everything about their patients is obvious, and I encourage trainees to ask questions — that the answer to a patient’s care is often hidden in their illness, if they listen closely. I coax trainees to learn as much as they can, then study the literature and talk to colleagues for answers. I stress teamwork.
I work directly with the pediatrics resident program on curriculum development. I am part of the UBMD teaching interest group that evaluates and discusses how best to educate the next generation of physicians. This helps ensure that I am on the cutting edge of teaching techniques. Additionally, I am part of the New York state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which coordinates pediatricians’ activities for the entire state. As such, I bring to my trainees the latest information about education and the practice of medicine across disciplines.