Prominent Doctor Launches New Book To Help Parents & Caregivers Navigate Health, Wellness & The Medical System For Their Children
When should children be immunized? Is that a sprain or something worse? Are those teeth growing in straight? Is that a cold or is it the flu? What are those funny-looking, itchy red dots? Is your child eating right? Is your daughter vaping? How do you prepare your son for surgery?
So many questions can fill a parent’s head about their child. And rightfully so. From emergencies, sports injuries, Coronavirus and measles, to allergies, addiction, eating disorders and crooked teeth, the landscape for achieving optimal health is littered with pitfalls. Parents may not even know what they need to know about their child’s wellbeing.
Thanks to a new book, Medical Parenting (Morgan James Publishing) by one of America’s Top Doctors™ Jacqueline Jones, M.D., parents and caregivers have a map from infancy through adulthood, helping them prevent or treat childhood stages of growth, disease, and injuries.
In fact, Dr. Jones has coined a phrase to cover all that a parent needs to do for ensuring a child’s well-being. Dr. Jones, a client of the book publicity firm that I work for, calls it “medical parenting.”
Here’s an interview with the New York City-based ENT and surgeon of 25 years:
1. What inspired you to write Medical Parenting? I wrote medical parenting to help parents feel less overwhelmed in the information age. The internet is a blessing and a curse. It provides parents with a great deal of unfiltered information. Friends, relatives and co-workers can also be a source of “helpful” information but at times this amount of information can be overwhelming for parents. My book Medical Parenting is a guide to help parents navigate this increasingly complex medical system. From how to choose a pediatrician to nutrition, dental care, choosing a nanny and finally letting your child transition to adulthood is all covered in my comprehensive guide.
2. The internet can overwhelm people, with contradictory, incorrect, incomplete, or outdated information. How does your book help educate and empower parents to take ownership of their child’s wellbeing? My book Medical Parenting helps parents through the maze of the current medical system. The internet is filled with reviews and seeming helpful information but how as a parent do you decide what is helpful and how to organize that information. My book helps parents with a step by step guide on how to choose a pediatrician and how to interact with the office staff and maximize your child’s health care. Medical Parenting provides an in-depth guide on preparing yourself for a parent’s worse nightmare- a medical emergency with your child.
3. When choosing a pediatrician, medical specialist, or surgeon, what should one be looking for? It is critical as a parent to know yourself. The best pediatrician for your best friend or mother in law may not be the person who is right for you. Think about the type of support you need. Are you a first time Mom or Dad and need more support as you learn how to care for your child or do you have three kids and you feel like “ I got this and need less support” For the first time Mom perhaps they want to consider a smaller practice where they will see the same pediatrician for the vast majority of their visits and develop a close relationship with that person. For the experienced Mom perhaps a larger practice where they is always a doctor available to fit their busy schedule. Not every doctor will fit every parent and you need to know when the fit is not right that they can change and find a doctor who they better connect with. We don’t get married after the first date it is OK to choose a doctor that works well for you
4. Not only are you an award-winning, Ivy-trained, New York doctor, you are also the mother of two now grown children. What goes through the minds of parents when they seek medical help for their child? I like all parents want only the best for my child. I want someone who will listen to me and take my concerns seriously. I want to have a physician that will help me address the anxiety I feel about my child’s illness and help me and my child on the path to recovery.
5. Why is the medical system so challenging, even frightening, to navigate? There are too many choices available and too much information that can lead us down paths that are not helpful. Google neck mass in children and one of the top 5 diagnosis is cancer. Cancer in a child presenting as a small neck mass if very rare. However once that thought is put into a parents mind it’s really hard not to worry about. Living in NYC we have the luxury of a multitude of doctors to choose from but how does one know who is good and who is bad. How do we filter that information? My book medical parenting goes through the process of filtering that information in a logical fashion so parents can find a health care provider that fits their needs.
6. What should a parent do once their child is diagnosed with a chronic illness? They need to get their health care team in place. Your child pediatrician should be the captain of that team and help to organize the specialist who will be assisting with your child’s care. Talk to your child’s teacher and principle and set up and educational plan so that your child can continue with their schooling to whatever capacity they are able. Speak to your child’s specialist and find out who will be the day to day contact person if you were to have routine questions. Find out what to do in an emergency. What hospital do you take your child too? Is there an urgent care facility you can use? Who do you call? Explore parent support groups as you go through the process of coming to terms with your child’s illness. Other parents can provide support and invaluable information as they have traveled the path that lies ahead of you
7. How do you help parents remain calm when their child is diagnosed with a major injury, disease, or disorder? Action is the antidote to anxiety. Research your child’s illness and set up and appointment with your child’s specialist as well as their pediatrician to learn more about their diagnosis and treatment. Find a support group. Talk to the school and above all do not displace your anxiety on to any of the children in your family. You want to speak to your child’s siblings, so they understand what the family is going through, but your older child is not there to act as a confidant or to help you deal with your anxiety. Use friends, relatives and support groups for that.
8. What do parents need to know over the debate or misconceptions circulating out there over immunizations, screen time, or sexual activity? They need to discuss their concerns openly with their child’s pediatrician. A good pediatrician can help parents to sift through the conflicting information on the internet and make a decision that is right for their child and their family.
9. Adolescence is tough to negotiate. How should parents stay involved as their children hit puberty and march towards adulthood? Be present and listen. Realize that your child is striving for independence as they negotiate their way through the difficult process of being an adult. They will be moody, difficult and take out their anger, frustration and fear of what they are feeling and what lies ahead on you. DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Try to disengage from the situation when things become too heated. Try to hear their side of the argument and validate their feelings. Remember however that they are still children and are looking for their parents to be adults. Caring, loving, respectful adults but never the less adults. Set household rules up early and stick to them. Set reasonable expectations and listen when your child is asking for an exception to your rules. I remember my son getting into an argument with our oldest son. He ended the conversation but getting upset and grounding our son for six months. We all knew that was going to be impossible to enforce! We learned that we would set rules that we could all live with and when those rules were broken appropriate consequences would follow.
10. It seems like so many kids are medicated for a physical or mental condition. Is America over-medicating children? How do you advise parents on this? This is a difficult problem. The pressure on children and adolescence to perform is overwhelming. It seems that every child has to be the best at reading and math and be well behaved at all times. We need to allow child to fail and to experience the consequences of their actions. That being said the advent of medication to help children with significant Attention deficit disorder has changed how children who are afflicted with this condition function in school. The most important process in deciding if your child needs medication is to consult your pediatrician and if need a pediatric mental health provider. Try work with your child’s health care team to avoid medications if they are not absolutely necessary but follow your clinician advice and work with them to find the best treatment options for your child.
11. Does the size of a medical practice matter, and could you tell us what a concierge practice is? The size of a medical practice does matter. In a larger practice you will have the advantage of easily getting an appointment when you need it. You will probably not see the same physician each time but rest assured that they will have similar treatment philosophies as your primary care physician would. In a smaller practice you will have the luxury of seeing the same doctor for the majority of your child’s care, but it may be more difficult to obtain an appointment and you will need to visit another doctor for emergency appointments if your doctor is unavailable. A concierge practice is a model of health care where the patient pays to obtain a higher level of service that is not usually provided in larger medical practices. This may include unlimited access to a physician, home visits, telemedicine visits, expedited appointments and no waiting when you enter the office. The fee for concierge service can range from several hundred dollars per year to several thousand dollars per year and the doctor may charge a yearly or monthly fee. There are several companies which specializes in concierge services and more information can be obtained on their website.
12. Could you provide some suggestions on how to build rapport with your primary care physician who too often rushes through appointments? If your primary care physician seems rushed try to understand the predicament that they are in. They are asked to see more and more patients for less and less reimbursement as large insurance companies squeeze doctors to increase their revenues as the cost of health care increases. Try to be focused in your time with them. Your visit should not be spent discussing where they went to medical school or how many lawsuits they have had in their career. Get that information from the internet. Organize any information you want the pediatrician to look at. If your child is having night time cough, make a video. If they are snoring tape that on your phone. If they have a rash take photos. Make a list of the questions you need answered and decide if those question need to be answered by a doctor or can a nurse answer them? If you have questions which are not answered stop the doctor and in a nice manner redirect them to make sure that the issues which are important to you are answered. Do not call back later that day and expect the physician to get on the phone with you and answer questions you forgot to ask. They will be triaged to a nurse so if you want face to face time with your doctor get it while they are in front of you. Turn off your cell phone and DO NOT answer any call unless it is an emergency while the doctor is in the room. They is not email or text that cannot wait ½ hour until your appointment is finished. Lastly if you really feel rushed and you feel after a few tries that things are not improving find another health care provider.
13. Minors can now suffer from eating disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, or addiction to drugs /alcohol or vaping. How do parents and doctors detect those things? Know your child. Look for the warning signs such as erratic behavior, significant weight loss, unusual eating habits and wearing inappropriate clothing that your child may be using it cover scars, needle marks or changes in their body’s appearance. Hopefully your child has developed a relationship with their pediatrician and may discuss concerns they have with their pediatrician that they might not discuss with you. In my book Medical Parenting I discuss how parents can help to foster a relationship between your child and their pediatrician. If you have true concerns talk openly to your teenager and let them know if they need you, you will be there for them. If you real concerns about their health, then speak directly to your child’s physician and together you will get them the help they need.
For more information, please consult: www.jacquelinejonesent.com.
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.
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