American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Conference will feature more than 20 speakers from Boston Children’s Hospital


One of the year’s most anticipated pediatric conferences is right around the corner! From October 22 – 25, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will host its 2016 National Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco, California, drawing more than 16,000 attendees eager to learn and share insights about the latest research in pediatric health care.

This year, clinicians and researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital will present on topics that vary from post-discharge appendicitis management to best practices in treating rare congenital heart disease. …Read More

10 things every pediatrician should know about eating disorders


If you feel unprepared to help a child or teen with an eating disorder, you’re not alone. A 2015 study of Family medicine, Internal medicine, Psychiatry (general,child, and adolescent) and Pediatrics residency programs revealed that less than 10% included specific training on eating disorders.

Too often, all eating disorders are lumped together as one disease with a simple prescription: eat more.

But there are lots of different types of eating disorders, as well as a whole spectrum of eating behaviors that are destructive but not clinically diagnosable.

“It’s not just ‘eat more’ or ‘eat better’. Eating disorders are about more than just food intake,” says Sara Forman, MD, director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Outpatient Eating Disorders Program. “Eating disorders are psychological illnesses with physical manifestations. You can’t just expect someone to change their behaviors without supportive medical and psychological care.”

As more research on the various forms and pathologies of eating disorders is documented, more effective treatments and support services are understood. …Read More

How to talk to your patients about Zika


The hype around Zika virus seems to be settling down. The Summer Olympics in Rio appeared to occur without incident (at least associated to the virus spread), and the number of reported cases has plateaued. Media interest, while not gone, is definitely waning from where it was in February, when the World Health Organization declared Zika a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Yet for those working on the frontlines or in global organizations trying to define and understand the outbreak, it is clear this is a false period of calm.

This past July, as I walked the halls of a hospital in Brazil, I witnessed the impact of the disease firsthand. Tired and despairing mothers carried their infants with abnormally small heads, trying futilely to soothe their shrill cries as they waited for medical care. They carried them close and explained to our visiting group of public health officials that the stigma of having a child with Zika virus has started to pervade society, with people simultaneously fascinated and frightened by their children.

For these mothers, taking care of their children has become their full-time job. Providers and families in the affected regions remain afraid and worried about the long-term care that these children will require. And this wave of fear and uncertainty is moving to the U.S. …Read More

Treating malnutrition: What I learned from working at a hospital in Haiti

Outside Hospital Saint Nicolas in Saint Marc, Haiti

The day had finally come. Pierre was ready. With his oversized pants hoisted up by a weathered black belt and a checkered blue and orange shirt tucked underneath, the little boy exuded the air of a wizened old man ready for a long journey, not a four-year-old child getting discharged home from the hospital.

His mother had taken pains to plaster down his wisps of blondish-brown hair, a sign of his vitamin-deficient state, that had started to grow back. She’d made sure he would go home in style, with pride.

I caught mirth in Pierre’s eyes and a grin that revealed carried teeth as he waved good-bye. This young boy was a far cry from the tired, fragile little one who had been admitted to the inpatient malnutrition ward a mere three weeks prior.

During my time as a clinical fellow working in the pediatric ward at Hospital Saint Nicolas in Saint Marc, Haiti, I’ve had the opportunity to take care of infants and children who have etched indelible stories of both heartbreak and triumph in my heart and mind. However, the faces and stories from the malnutrition ward, where those children who are too sick to manage in the outpatient malnutrition program are admitted, stand out most vividly. …Read More