Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Author Interview: Dr Paul Roumeliotis

I had the awesome opportunity to post up interview questions from Dr. Paul. He takes a firm stance on many issues and it is awesome to get such clear reccomendations and advice from a leading professional in the medical field.

 Enjoy the interview!

QUESTION: How did you decide to specialize in Pediatrics? 

DR.PAUL ANSWERS: I have always loved children and believed that communication/education is a very important part of being a doctor. Early on in medical school I realized that this was particularly relevant in pediatric practice. Unlike treating adults, we are dealing with parents and rely on them for obtaining information and in many cases, administering treatment. I refer to this as “medicine by proxy”. I really enjoy this aspect of pediatrics, as it fits in with my zeal for empowering parents and child caregivers with credible, proactive, practical and easy-to-understand information so they can be as comfortable as possible in taking care of their kids. This is what I mean when I coined the phrase:”Knowledge is Comfort”.

QUESTION: Having embraced the Internet in its early stages, 20 years ago, do you see any problems or challenges for parents now with information overload?

DR.PAUL ANSWERS: When it comes to child health and wellness, knowledge is comfort. The more one knows about baby, routines, care and potential issues , the more comfortable one will be to enjoy baby! Despite the potential for information overload of today,  I still think that the internet provides a valuable and unprecedented  service to parents, in that they can  easily access information and consult/share/discuss with others in similar situations virtually anytime and from anywhere! The only precaution I can advise is that parents should be aware of the sources of their information and NOT rely on the internet to make a diagnosis or treatment plan for themselves or their family.

QUESTION: What is your stance on using a pacifier?

DR.PAUL ANSWERS:  The controversy is that pacifier use may interfere with breast feeding and has been related to some other medical problems such as increased ear infections if baby sleeps with pacifier as well as causing sleep problems if baby gets used to sleeping with a pacifier. I am not dogmatically against pacifier use and respect a parent’s choice, although in breastfeeding babies I do not recommend placing anything in baby’s mouth other than the breast for at least the first 6 weeks. It takes this long for baby and mother to get used to latching and establish a regular breastfeeding routine. Beyond this period there are a few tips that I provide adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics about the safe and appropriate use of pacifiers.

QUESTION: What is your stance on allowing babies to watch TV?

DR.PAUL ANSWERS: I agree with the current Academy of Pediatrics recommendations; “Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.” Beyond this age, I fully support this AAP recommendation too: “That parents establish "screen-free" zones at home by making sure there are no televisions, computers or video games in children's bedrooms, and by turning off the TV during dinner. Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. It is important for kids to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play.”

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