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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Review: Pediatrics Grand Rounds (Medical School for Everyone Series)

Parenting books are mostly extremely badly written. But Dr. Roy Benaroch is a real doctor (a practicing pediatrician) and I enjoyed the Emergency Medicine audio lectures so much that I thought this would be a hoot.

Nearly every lecture in this 24 lecture series made me wish I'd audited this series before I became a parent. It answers so many great questions that I'd had and does so in practical, case-study type format that treats each patient complaint as a mystery, some with serious implications and some without:

  • How does sleep training work, and how quickly can you do it? (it's turns out the cry it out methods are faster than the alternatives)
  • Why are vaccine schedules set the way they are? (turns out that this is driven by medical studies and periods of vulnerability)
  • What serious birth defects do existing prenatal screens detect, and which types slip through? 
  • Why is folic acid important?
  • What's the best way to discipline your kid? How do you properly do a time-out? (It turns out consistency and immediacy is key --- if you can't impose the punishment immediately, it's better to ignore it than to mention it and not follow through)
  • Cancer is the leading cause of deaths among children between 1 and 9, but leukemia is surprisingly treatable (80% survival rate).
One might think that listening to this series would cause you to become paranoid and hypochondriac, but in my case I just felt very grateful that all our visits to the hospitals and clinics have been relatively complication free.

This is not to say all the case studies in the series have happy endings. Some of them don't, and one of the episodes might be very distressing if you're sensitive. Dr. Benaroch is very careful in calling it out in case you want to just skip that episode, so I wouldn't let that deter you from listening to the series.

Unlike Emergency Medicine, I didn't manage to get any of the diagnosis correct on the case studies (except 1), so that meant the series taught me something new in every episode!

Highly recommended. And if you're a new parent, contains valuable information about how to interact with your physician and how to make the best use of your time.

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