People commonly ask me why I chose to go into pediatrics. My terse, usual response, is rooted in the fact that children are born into this world knowing how to poop, eat, sleep, and cry. They depend on us for preventive health, education, and resources. Every health policy decision we... Read More0
The latest public anti-health move by our fearful “leader”, the removal of the Surgeon General, is a quintessential example about how money and lobbying can negatively influence public health. From Zika-funding, to healthcare reform, to e-cigarette legislation, to vaccine mandates, and now gun violence, I think every American, regardless of your party,... Read More0
Anyway Sean Spicer spins it, health insurance premiums have steadily been climbing over the past decade, even before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. I know, that’s an inconvenient reality. Rising healthcare premiums are likely a blended mess of rising healthcare industry costs, poor marketplace design, insufficient young, healthy enrollees,... Read More0
Said no one ever. Donald Trump and his thimerosal-hitman, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., outwardly state they’re pro-vaccine but their skepticism is going to empower an internet-trolling giant of anti-vaxxers. Even if RFK Jr. acknowledges that vaccines save millions of lives, which he does, this question about vaccine safety is going... Read More0
Oh, the famous Trump rally war cry. I have no idea where “terrific” comes from because Team Trump never really put up clear health policies. Even the campaign site is all promises with no plan. Healthcare is not a New Jersey casino or some Trump tie sitting in the Macy’s 60%-off... Read More0
The topic near and dear to me in this looney election is health policy. Mr. “I’m a great businessman” Trump may be “great with the tax-code” or experienced with bankrupt casinos but flat-out, the man’s health policies are flawed and skimpy compared to Hillary Clinton’s. I must ask: How would our children be affected... Read More2
When it comes to video games, I’m the cranky, old man that starts phrases with “when I was your age…” My audience is kids in the children’s hospital I work at, and in my defense, I’m right. In my day, we were captivated by the intensity of Excite Bike, every sleepover... Read More2
Abortion beliefs and decisions involve personal, medical, socioeconomic, and religious variables. How can we stamp reproductive rights with a “one-size fits all” rule? With that (looking at you Marco Rubio), I give you five reasons why we need an open chat about abortion restrictions and Zika-related microcephaly. Our Policymakers Have No... Read More1
Most of my guy friends have childhood memories that involve fireworks or backyard explosives. I’m being blunt but we’ve all been there. So now, teenage hat off, pediatrician hat on, I am aware of two things: fireworks are insanely dangerous, can cause severe burns, disfigurement, or even death AND children... Read More1
I decided to get a puppy’s opinion about vaccines. Time for a fresh view. Vaccination regulation is shaping up to be our generation’s great public health debate. Vaccines save lives, billions of healthcare dollars, and are overall safe. But many still oppose vaccine requirements because of diseases they’ve never encountered.... Read More2
Arianna Huffington’s new book, “The Sleep Revolution,” should inspire everyone to get some serious shut-eye, especially doctors. We’re awful at sleeping. Sleep insufficiency is rampant in medicine and a complex solution is needed. I prefer a simple solution so I turned to my pediatric population and learned their secret –... Read More0
April fools is here and everyone has a get-out-of-jail-free card for the most inventive lie. Aside from the holiday of hoax, most people lie on occasion to avoid consequences or spare another person’s feelings. But your doctor will tell you that fibbing may be harmful to your health. While many... Read More1
I recently had a riveting debate with a software engineer in Silicon Valley about whether or not, the IBM Watson supercomputer could, one day, diagnose medical diseases better than doctors. While many algorithm-gurus are believers, most physicians, including myself, are not. “Why do you think that Dr. Patel? Computers can analyze mountains of data faster... Read More1
2 days ago, Mark Zuckerberg uploaded a picture that will hopefully spark an epic social movement. If you haven’t already, check out the original post and read the comments… The anti-vaccine community uses digital content to spread fear, anecdotes, and mistrust of anything you can’t buy at a farmer’s market. They also like... Read More0
Watch a gun debate and you’ll see a fiery offense on the Left versus a brick wall on the Right. With every horrific mass shooting or inner city homicide, comes another plea for gun restrictions, which is met by gun lobbyists downplaying the statistics and shouting about infringements on our constitutional... Read More1
Her Individualized Approach This is an actual exchange between Dr. Jamie Zimmerman and myself: “Alok, in a dream world, what would you do for work?” “Hmmm,” l smirked and went along with the charade, “I’d be involved in massive public health campaigns and use elements of humor, satire, and anything... Read More2
Back in the year of the original Die Hard movie, 1988, nearly 350,000 were crippled by polio worldwide. Fast forward to 2014 and that number was 360. Whip out your calculator and be amazed at that 99.9% reduction. If vaccines could talk, they’d share stories about the billions of lives... Read More1
It’s July 30th, 2015 and if you hop on to your favorite news source, you’ll likely run into one of two headlines: Anyway, here’s the headline that should be Trump-ing everything today (pun intended): . 1965 was a legendary year for birthdays including Robert Downey Jr, Dr. Dre, Ben Stiller,... Read More2
From the Seattle Times, May 2015: Cassandra Rush, 33, of Issaquah, was among Washington state parents who never considered the danger of windows until her 5-year-old daughter fell 15 feet, face-first, onto a concrete slab last September. “All I know is I was sitting downstairs with my son,” recalled Rush. “And... Read More0
Getting a teenager to focus without using a smart phone or Instagram is like trying to pet an alligator – good luck. A high-schooler’s attention span is usually cornered by hormone-driven traditions or whatever hashtag is currently trending. Nonetheless, the resurgence of a throwback dance-style, with a blend of mentoring,... Read More2
Who I am
I'm a pediatrician.
A wannabe medical journalist.
And wanting to bridge the gap between public health and everyday.