Thursday, February 5, 2015

pediatrician psa: three good articles

I used to do these on Tuesdays, but I'm low on blog post ideas, so time for a couple links!


First, this awesome answer to the question: How can I tell if my child has a cold or a sinus infection?

This is an important question because kids get colds ALL. THE. TIME. And there's really nothing to do to make a cold go away faster, which is frustrating for everyone. But if it's actually a sinus infection (much less common), then antibiotics might help. Click to find out how to tell the difference!

Second, on a related note, an excellent explanation for why pediatricians don't (or at least, aren't supposed to) recommend cough or cold medicines for kids. (Spoiler: it's because they don't work.)

The third one tackles a different topic, but an equally frustrating one (and not specific to pediatrics). Have you ever wondered why your doctor always keeps you waiting? Hint: it's not because he/she is on a Starbucks break, on the phone booking a lavish vacation, or just fundamentally lazy. The author of the article follows the typical day of a primary care physician, detailing exactly how things get so far behind.

And in case you read it and think, "Well, why not schedule people for longer appointments?" there are two large reasons. First, many physicians don't have any say in the length of their appointment slots, which are often predetermined by office administrators for maximum cost-effectiveness. And second, if appointments are longer, then fewer patients can be seen per day, making it harder to get an appointment with the doctor when you need it.

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