Posts Tagged ‘University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’

Pediatricians’ Pet Peeves

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009


My, it’s interesting to see what happens when pediatricians get a chance to vent about parents! I learned a lot in writing “Pediatricians’ Pet Peeves” for a number of regional parenting magazines. Here’s the first part of the article. Head over to New Jersey Family to read the whole thing.

We all know the complaints we parents have now and then about visits to the doctor’s office. But aren’t you just a bit curious about what irritations pediatricians would share with the parents of their pint-sized patients if they had the chance? Here’s what your pediatrician would love to tell you (but you won’t hear it from him).

“As tempting as it is to ask the doctor to ‘just check his brother’s ears while we’re here,’ a piece of a medical encounter is no encounter at all,” says Dr. David Hill, an adjunct assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina Medical School. “We need to know what’s going on with the ears; what other symptoms he’s having; whether he has had allergies, asthma, or ear surgery in the past; what medications he’s on; what he’s allergic to; whether anyone smokes in the home; and what illnesses run in the family,” says Hill, who’s also a medical expert on

“If his ears are bothering him, it could be strep throat or part of a sinusitis or an illness that might kick up an asthma attack. So please, if you’re worried about multiple siblings, make each one a separate appointment to ensure he or she gets the doctor’s full attention.”

Also, Hill says, “Our expertise is the only thing doctors have to sell. Would you ask your grocer, ‘Since I’m buying this milk, could you just give me half a watermelon?’”

Read the rest at New Jersey Family

No Health Insurance? Here’s Help

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

It's tough not to worry.

Turn on CNN and you see stories about hundreds of people losing their jobs as employers resort to layoffs, companies downsize and businesses go out of business.

“Losing your job is scary enough,” says Adam Goldstein, M.D., a professor of family medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. “But for some people, such as those who have chronic health problems that require both medications and regular visits to the doctor, that fear becomes magnified by the loss of health insurance that often goes hand in hand with the loss of one’s job.”

More than 45 million Americans had no health insurance in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. What to do if it happens to you? Goldstein offers the following tips:

°    Check to see if you qualify to continue your current health insurance under COBRA. COBRA is a federal law that gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits for limited periods of time after job loss. Qualified individuals still must pay the entire premium for coverage to continue. For more information, click here.

°    Call your primary-care doctor and explain your situation. Most physicians will work with you to ensure that you still have access to care while you work out a way to pay your medical bills. They may have a sliding-scale policy to allow those with fewer financial resources to pay less at each visit.

°    Seek care at a community health center or free medical clinic whose mission is to serve patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Federally supported community health centers also provide a range of primary-care services on a sliding-scale fee basis. Also, take advantage of the free blood-pressure machines available at many pharmacies.

°    Try to get your medications at reduced or no cost. Prices in pharmacies may vary widely, with the most expensive charging two to five times more than the least expensive. Shop around. Many pharmaceutical companies offer medications for free for a limited time to patients with no income and few financial assets. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance offers access to more than 450 public and private patient-assistance programs, including more than 180 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. For more information, click here.