On the first day of my Social Paediatrics elective, I accompanied a nurse on a visit to a family shelter. I entered the single room and noticed a healthy newborn girl, sleeping peacefully in an old crib. The room consisted of a bed, a table, two chairs, a fridge, and a microwave. There was no stove, no kitchen sink. Clothes, toiletries, dishes and bottles were strewn everywhere. The floor was dirty and there was graffiti on the wall. One of the parents was present, but the other was out looking for work. It was my first time in a shelter, and I was stunned that a family with a newborn was living in such conditions.
Laura Stymiest is a paediatrics resident at Dalhousie University. She previously trained at the Coady International Institute and has researched in the area of Social Paediatrics. She writes with...
Elizabeth Lee-Ford Jones, an expert adviser with EvidenceNetwork.ca, and Prof of Paediatrics at SickKids in Toronto.
I remember being a second year medical student working in a paediatric clinic.
I see a young girl who has been referred for inability to pay attention in the classroom. The child’s teacher is concerned she has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and possibly, a learning disability.
I am just beginning to establish my approach to patient problems and complex medical illness.
As I make my way through the medical history, the child’s parents tell me they are struggling to make ends meet. Despite their best efforts combined with collections from a nearby food bank, the little girl often goes to school hungry. ...continue reading →