Social media and adolescent body image: What to know

Girl looking at cell phoneThe two strongest influencers on children’s attitudes toward their body image are their family unit and media. As clinicians, we must be attuned to our patients’ family dynamics and their online activities — and understand how these environmental factors influence their psychological and physical health.  …Read More

Athletes and heat stroke: Prevention and treatment

exertional heat stroke

In the midst of some of the hottest months of summer, young athletes are just beginning practice sessions for fall sports. During this time, it’s important for athletes, coaches and trainers to be adequately prepared for the heat — and for physicians to be prepared to treat heat illnesses.

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Clinical Consult: Dizziness, vertigo and balance disorders

dizziness vertigo vestibular disorders

Imagine that you wake up one morning and the world around you is spinning rapidly as if you were on a merry-go-round. You try to walk but the floor seems to be moving and you fall to the ground. You begin to feel nauseous. You lie down hoping the feeling will disappear, but it does not.

It can be a terrifying experience for a child to experience dizziness. Moreover, it can often be very difficult for them to articulate to their parents and doctors exactly what they are experiencing.

Most pediatric health care providers do not learn about the evaluation and management of dizziness in children during the course of their training. A child complaining of dizziness may appear normal and may not have any obvious abnormalities on physical exam, but the differential diagnosis of dizziness in children is expansive, ranging anywhere from simple dehydration to a vestibular or balance disorder to a brain tumor. For these reasons, the evaluation of a child with dizziness can often be an intimidating and time-consuming task. …Read More

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Do hospital rankings matter?

Sree Bhagwat in the lobby of Boston Children's Hospital.
Bhagwat in the lobby of Boston Children’s Hospital

Everyone who works in health care is familiar with U.S. News and World Report’s annual Best Hospitals rankings. But the methods behind the numbers can seem complex and mysterious, even secretive. What do rankings really tell us about the quality of health care at various institutions? Are they even helpful? Do they impact care?

Sree Bhagwat, a senior marketing analyst at Boston Children’s Hospital who manages the hospital’s data collection and reporting to U.S. News, says “yes.”

“It’s not just about competition,” says Bhagwat. “It’s about improving the standards of health care everywhere. The rankings process reveals important metrics that can drive improvements in national health care. Data points are driven by expert clinicians who serve on the numerous U.S. News committees.”

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