Author: Maureen McCarthy

Gender identity & pronoun use: A guide for pediatric health care professionals


Everyone has a gender identity. Some people identify as cisgender — a gender that corresponds with the sex they were assigned at birth. While others identify with a gender that is different from what they were assigned at birth.

Regardless of a person’s sex assigned at birth, a person may identify as a woman, a man, both, neither or they may be gender fluid (switch between genders). In a healthcare setting, respecting a patient’s gender identity and asking about the name and pronouns they use is a crucial element of good clinical care. …Read More

Expert’s Corner: Managing the Female Athlete Triad

Female Athlete Triad

The Female Athlete Triad is comprised of three, interrelated components — low energy availability with or without disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction and low bone mineral density.

According to Kathryn Ackerman, MD, MPH, medical director of Boston Children’s Female Athlete Program, patients may present with one or more of these components. However, the challenge is that sports medicine physicians and other clinicians have varied approaches to management. …Read More

Combating physician burnout: ‘Silence is not the answer’

Physician burnout

You’re about to start another long day. Traffic was grueling, you’re late for your first appointment, and the paperwork and meeting schedule that awaits you is daunting. You’re chasing the clock, today and most days, and your patients and co-workers are feeling the effects.

This scenario and countless variations of it are common drivers of physician burnout — a condition affecting 35 percent of U.S. physicians, according to The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The condition is the result of prolonged stress involving emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a sense of reduced personal accomplishments. …Read More

Caring for children by supporting parents

Schuster Supporting ParentsA mother brings her toddler in for a well-child visit. When the pediatrician asks how things are going, and the mother says, everything’s fine. The pediatrician asks whether she’s getting enough support at home, to which she cautiously responds that some days can feel like more than she can handle. 

Delving a little deeper, the pediatrician learns that the mother recently lost her father, is having trouble sleeping and hasn’t been engaging or playing with her child. After the pediatrician determines the mother is not at immediate risk for harming herself or her child, the clinic nurse helps her make an appointment with her primary-care provider.

This scenario — and many others like it — are part of the well-child visit anatomy. Experts say, the traditional 15-to-30-minute appointment is not only an opportunity for pediatric providers to track a child’s growth and development, but also check in with parents and discuss their concerns. …Read More