From their tiny hands to their budding imaginations, children are not the same as adults. And yet, it wasn’t until the ‘80s and ‘90s when their differences were recognized in the medical world. Pediatric specialists did not exist and many children were treated medically as adults.
Even today, children’s hospitals are not in abundance. There are 35 independent children’s hospitals in the United States and 200 that operate as part of a larger integrated health system. In comparison, there are over 5,000 hospitals throughout the country that primarily focus on adult care.
Dr. Kurt Newman, CEO and president of Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., saw the shortcomings of pediatric care early on in his career. He was fascinated by children’s personalities and resiliency, and wanted to bring a holistic, hands-on approach to pediatrics. Although pediatric medicine was not in his “game plan,” he discovered the excitement and impact of being a surgeon for children at a children’s hospital. His two-year fellowship at Children’s National has turned into a 30-plus year career in helping children and advancing medicine.
In the back of the book, Dr. Newman offers eight tips on how parents can get the best medical care for their children. “Healing Children” is available both online and in stores.
Beth Roessner is a D.C.-based writer and health coach.