January 2014Volume 60, Issue 3
The contents of this newsletter are intended for educational and informational purposes only and do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of the American College of Pediatricians.
Behind the Scenes
Did you know that the College has filed more than 14 amicus briefs in the past few years? The College is bringing your voice to the courts. These cases have involved issues that affect children and families. The College has worked closely on these court cases with organizations such as the CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Association) and the ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom).
2014 Dues are Due!2014 Membership renewal notices went out in the mail the first week of November. These notices were sent to Fellows, Specialty Fellows, Candidate Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, Retired Fellows and Associate members. Thank you to so many members who have paid dues so promptly!Please help the College by paying your dues no later then the end of January.
To pay your dues or donate to the College: go to this link for the College websiteand click on the green "Contribute Today" button at the top right hand side of your screen.
How Babies are Made in CanadaJust because we all need a little humor now and then:How babies are made in Canada by photographer Patrice Laroche.
Small Miracles by a Musing Pediatrician
Read this blog by pediatrician L. Gregory Lawton, MD. Take a moment to reflect and remember the power you have every day to make a difference.
Family Ties: better than condoms
And Board member Dr. Scott Spies was interviewed on live T.V. in North Carolina. See the 3 minute interview here explaining how family ties are better for kids than condoms.
Studies demonstrate that parents who promote abstinence and have a history of open communication with their children are successful in delaying sexual debut. The promotion and distribution of condoms and contraception by physicians undermines the authority of parents and the strength of the abstinence message. Instead, parents and physicians must work together repeatedly offering clear, firm guidance regarding how to attain optimal health while maintaining emotional warmth and connection.
John Werner Trieschmann, MDIt is with sadness that we inform you that Dr. John Trieschmann, member of the College since 2003, passed away on November 26, 2013, in Little Rock, Arkansas.His devotion and care to generations of children, who came to the Children and Youth Clinic in Hot Springs made him a beloved caregiver in that community. Upon retirement, he founded Stepping Stone Clinic, a practice in Behavioral Medicine.The Trieschmann Family requests that memorials be given to Lake Valley Community Church's ministry or www.firefallinternational.org in memory of Dr. John Werner Trieschmann.
Attempting to characterize all sexual reorientation therapy as 'unethical' violates patient choice
The governors of California and New Jersey have recently signed bills into law that violate First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. These new laws ban licensed counselors from engaging in talk therapies that reduce the level of same-sex attractions in minors for whom such reduction is a personal goal.
Nicholas Cummings, a former president of the American Psychological Association, writes that "contending that all same-sex attraction is immutable is a distortion of reality." As chief psychologist for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, Cummings oversaw hundreds of patients who were successful in changing their sexual orientations. Cummings was selective in recommending therapeutic change only to those who were highly motivated to change and who were clinically assessed as having a high probability of success.
The vast majority of Cummings's gay and lesbian patients didn't want to change their sexual orientations, and Cummings offered them therapy to attain happier and more stable homosexual lifestyles. Cummings believes that lawmakers should respect a patient's inalienable right to self-determination.
See the full article at Mercatornet.com.
Barriers to HPV Vaccination Among Teens
A study published in [the June issue of] The Journal of Infectious Diseases reveals that since the vaccine was introduced in 2006, vaccine-type HPV prevalence decreased 56 percent among female teenagers in the U.S. However, in spite of this evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there are still barriers to human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination. Barriers include such factors as lack of recommendation by a healthcare provider, financial concerns, and parental attitudes.
The CDC reports that routine vaccination at age 11-12 for both boys and girls is recommended, but only about half of all girls in the U.S. - and far fewer boys-received the first dose of HPV vaccine.
"[T]he report should be a wake-up call to our nation to protect the next generation by increasing HPV vaccination rates," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "Unfortunately only one third of girls aged 13-17 have been fully vaccinated with HPV vaccine. Countries such as Rwanda have vaccinated more than 80 percent of their teen girls. Low vaccination rates in the U.S. represent 50,000 preventable tragedies[.]"
Strategies need to be developed by health care professionals bearing in mind the barriers that prevent compliance: lack of knowledge or understanding of the vaccine, cultural or religious beliefs, and cost of the vaccine.
Evidence supports abstinence as the safest way to avoid exposure to HPV - thus teens should be counseled accordingly . The College does, however, support offering the HPV vaccination as an option if and when appropriate.
Walking under the influence
A Safe Kids recent study showed that distracted walking is as serious a public safety issue as distracted driving.
One in five high school students and one in eight middle school students observed were distracted by some kind of electronic device while crossing the street. Students were most often texting on a phone (39 percent) or using headphones (39 percent). Girls were more likely than boys to be walking while distracted.
In 1995 it was 5 to 9 year old children who sustained the most injuries, but today it's teens who are at greatest risk. The death rate among older teens is now twice that of younger children
When introducing cell phones to adolescents, parents should talk to teens about the dangers of distracted walking (as well as texting), and advise them to not use mobile devices while crossing the street (and of course while driving). Parents must also model safe cell phone behavior.
Connecticut authorities missed their chance for a teachable moment
The State of Connecticut Department of Criminal Justice released a report on the December 14, 2012 Newtown shootings. The report was non-conclusive on a motive for the shootings but Rick Fitzgibbons, MD, in an op ed prepared for Mercatornet.com lists many factors that may have led to the events of that fatal day in 2012.
While Dr. Fitzgibbons agrees that it is not possible to conclusively determine a motive, he asks why Connecticut authorities so reluctant to comment on the many conflicts in Adam Lanza's life that predisposed him to violent impulses and behavior?
Read here to understand the conflicts in Adam's life that likely led to the dreadful events of December 14, 2012.
The American College of Pediatricians extends their heartfelt condolences to all the families in Newtown who are forever impacted by that tragic day. We hope that other communities and families can learn from this tragedy to prevent future atrocities.
Healthcare Technology HazardsThose pesky electronic health records that most physicians are adjusting to provide a proliferation of patient information with the click of a mouse, but the importance of accuracy and patient privacy has never been greater.
The presence of incorrect data or the exposure of patient privacy can result in patient harm. System testing, adequate staff training, and a system for reporting errors are important steps in reducing risk associated with Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Clinicians rely on accurate data when formulating healthcare decisions for patients. Patients rely on the confidentiality of their information. It is important that your staff be on board with the importance of accuracy and privacy.
2014 National Meeting of the College at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Have you scheduled your vacation days to attend the College National Meeting in July? Wonderful topics and speakers at your disposal with guest keynote speaker John Patrick, MD. Dr. Patrick is an internationally known speaker who speaks avidly on moral issues in medicine and culture and the integration of faith and science.
Reserve your spot for the College meeting soon. And, if you wish to attend the University of South Carolina's College of Medicine "General Pediatrics Update," click here to see details about the meeting held last July. (Information for the 2014 meeting will be updated soon.)
A block of rooms has been held for College members at the Inn at Harbour Town (Sea Pines resort at Hilton Head). Rates are $269 per room per night not including taxes and amenity fees. However, the first 10 members to book their room at the Inn at Harbour Town will receive a $25 rebate per night per room for rooms booked on July 16 or 17th. After January 6th, call Lisa at the College office to book your room at the Inn. If you wish to find accommodations off of the Island, you might search for hotels in Bluffton, SC. Bluffton is about 15-20 miles from the Sea Pines resort.
Belgium Approves Measure Allowing Doctors to Euthanize ChildrenEuthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002 but has, since its enactment, been prohibited for patients under 18. While euthanasia is legal in a handful of countries in Europe, Belgium is the first country in the world to lift all age restrictions on the practice. In 2012, Belgium recorded 1,432 cases of euthanasia - a 25% increase from 2011.See the full story here at LifeNews.com.Coming soon: a new College position statement on neonatal euthanasia.
Complements of MedscapePediatrics is up by 7% over 2011. Physicians in the North Central region of the U.S. earn the most. Physicians with board certification earned significantly more than those without it. Fifty-one percent of physicians spend from 5 to 14 hours per week on paperwork - this is up from 2011 when only 23% spent from 5 to 14 hours.Whoever says that doctors choose their career for the money is just plain wrong. Although making a good income is clearly important to physicians, the relationship with patients and the intellectual challenge and satisfaction of being able to solve problems and make people better seems to be what it's all about.
Healthcare Exchanges and their impact on you
Medscape has an article on Healthcare exchanges here.
A potential payment problem for physicians with exchange patients: Under final federal rules for the exchanges, patients who stop paying their premiums still get a 90-day grace period, during which they are entitled to continue to receive healthcare services. The rule stipulates that the insurer must continue paying their bills for 30 days, but for the next 60 days, providers are obligated to provide care without insurance payments.To avoid this problem, practices must do their homework and check a patient's coverage status at each visit by asking the insurer, "Is the patient current on her payments?"
Weigh the risks before deciding to join or not join a healthcare exchange.
The Media and Sexual ExploitationPrescriptions for Parents recent newsletter highlighted the topic, "The Media and Sexual Exploitation." See the story here.You are invited to subscribe to their newsletter via the link above.
New Study Puts Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Back in the Spotlight
A new study pointing to a link between breast cancer and abortion among Chinese women may breathe new life into a debate over a long-contentious issue which both sides have accused the other of exploiting to promote its cause.
The Chinese study was welcomed by Joel Brind, professor of endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York and a science advisor to the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer.
In an analysis, Brind called it "a real game changer" after years of attempts by various interests to discredit earlier findings, including his own, regarding an "abortion-breast cancer" (ABC) link.Click here to read the abstract to the meta analysis of the Chinese studies, and click here to read more on the article quoted above from CNSNews.com.
College position statement: Abortion and the risk of breast cancer.
Television and Families
These days parents must be ever vigilant about the television programs their children may be viewing. Ideally, parents would be discerning about what they are viewing as well. This website is a good resource to guide parents and families are what's on the television and what to possibly avoid: Parentstv.org.
Not vaccine failure, but failure to vaccinate
The three largest outbreaks of measles in the U.S. (New York, North Carolina and Texas) in 2013 were primarily due to parents refusing vaccination for their children. These outbreaks represented a three-fold increase in measles cases.
Most cases of measles originate from outside of the U.S. but that doesn't mean you have to travel to be exposed. It only means you have contact with someone else who has traveled.
Encourage your patients to get vaccinated. It's the right thing to do because no one lives in a bubble anymore.
Read the 2011 College press release: Immunizations are safe.
Attention ALL Pediatricians
If you could choose just one behavior in your patients or the parents of your patients that would like to target for change, what would it be?
Email your response here and your answers can be shared in the February newsletter.
Federal Judge Opens the Door to Polygamy
This summer when the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Liberty Counsel warned that the decision would lead to polygamy and religious intolerance. Homosexual activists, such as the LGBT news magazine, the Advocate, called Liberty Counsel's warning "erroneous" and "hyperbolic." Just six short months later, that warning has become prophetic.
On Friday, a federal judge ruled that key parts of Utah's polygamy laws are unconstitutional, violating the free exercise of religion.
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel stated,
"If marriage is deconstructed to include people of the same sex, then there is no logical or legal argument to ban polygamy or polyamory. Same-sex "marriage" is the abolition of marriage and will destroy the most basic foundation of family and civil society."
"Marriage predates government and civil authorities. No legislative body or court has the authority to redefine marriage," says Mat Staver. "Marriage was not created by religion or government and is ontologically a union of one man and one woman. Deconstructing marriage will hurt children and society," concludes Staver.
Of Mice and Men - how growing up without a father can transform the brain
by Ben Johnson - MONTREAL, December 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new study shows that growing up without a father not only affects behavior - it transforms children's brain structure. That's the verdict reached by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center and recently published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.
Researchers studied the behavior and brains of Californian mice who, like humans, are monogamous and raise their children as a unit. Mice separated from their fathers showed greater aggression, anti-social behavior, and "abnormal social interactions" than those raised with both parents. "The behavioral deficits we observed are consistent with human studies of children raised without a father," said Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, the report's lead author. However, more groundbreaking was their finding that the behavior was not the only thing affected by the lack of a father. Mice raised by one parent had a misshapen prefrontal cortex, the portion of the brain associated with behavior, decision-making, and problem solving. "This is the first time research findings have shown that paternal deprivation during development affects the neurobiology of the offspring," Gobbi said. The report states, "Our results emphasize the importance of the father during critical neurodevelopmental periods, and that father absence induces impairments in social behavior that persist to adulthood." The absence of a father has been associated with a string of poor behavior and life outcomes, including higher rates of substance abuse and criminality. A report published by the Center for Social Justice found that half of all children in Britain are living in a single-parent home, more than 1 million British children in all. By contrast, the presence of fathers - even uncommunicative ones - raises the levels of positive outcomes for children. In 2011, researchers at the University of Melbourne found that delinquent behavior was reduced by 7.6 percent among boys who lived with their biological fathers, and five percent points for those living with non-biological fathers only, especially violent and gang-related crime.
Humor of the month
Sam who grew up very poor lived on a river in a rural area where his family had an outhouse.They used that outhouse when it was freezing cold and when it was stinking hot. Sam hated that outhouse and longed to push it into the river. One day when no one was in sight, he did just that and gleefully watched it float down the river out of view, and returned to his chores.
Later, Sam fessed up. When faced with potential discipline for his actions, Sam reminded his father about the story of George Washington as a young man cutting down the cherry tree. Sam told his father that, "George Washington's father, instead of punishing George, commended George for telling the truth."
Sam's father said, "Yes I am aware of the story of young George Washington, the cherry tree and the lesson on telling the truth. However, the big difference between that story and yours is that George's father was not IN the tree when he chopped it down!"
12 Ways to Earn Extra Income from Medical Activities
- Teach Students for For-Profit Educators
- Provide Care to Prisoners
- Become a Supervising Physician for NPs and PAs
- Provide Telehealth From Your Own Home
- Serve as an Expert Witness
- Review Health Insurance Claims
- Examine Patients for Insurers
- Work for Pharmaceutical Companies
- Provide House Calls
- Treat Nursing Home Patients
- Staff Medical Tents at Runs and Other Events
- Earn Your Stay on a Cruise Ship
For details visit this link at Medscape.
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Thank you to Diana Matthews and Dr. Scott Spies for their edits to the newsletter, and to all:Happy New Year!
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Did you know that the College developed a website www.FactsAboutYouth.com in 2010 to provide accurate information for physicians, schools, parents and adolescents on the issue of sexuality? This website has resources that we invite you to share with patients and educators as well as policy makers.
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Wednesday, January 1, 2014
News from the American College of Pediatricians
Posted by PFOX at 5:50 AM