A veteran surgeon looks at how medicine has evolved through his pediatric-centered practice.
With nearly 40 years of experience, Newman liberally shares a variety of personal stories and case histories from children in his clinical practice. He laments that pediatric medicine is “painfully undervalued and underfunded” while adult diseases garner the majority of the attention, financial support, and clinical investments within the American medical community. “We need to embrace as a society a new vision of pediatric healthcare that is logical, economical, and compassionate,” writes Newman, “where the long arc of a child’s life is envisioned.” To illustrate the need to re-evaluate how children’s medicine is perceived and to reprioritize its importance, the author introduces readers to some of the brave, resilient children he has treated throughout his coming-of-age surgical residencies and his long-standing tenure in pediatric medicine. He also spotlights many pioneering medical professionals who continue to be committed to the betterment of treating and healing ill children. Discussing how his career continued to ebb toward “more nuanced and empirical” beliefs in pediatric health care, Newman cites heart-rending instances of genetic abnormalities, cancer, severely underweight babies, and overprotective parents, all briskly described yet all carrying the emotional weight that accompanies an innocent child enduring a painful health crisis. Written primarily as a guide for parents navigating the unpredictable health of their children, the book also addresses the future of pediatric care, as Newman delves into the most innovative therapies and initiatives in development. As the current CEO of Children’s National in Washington, D.C., the author sets forth a convincing argument to place children’s medical requirements and their need to thrive well into adulthood at the forefront of American medicine, and he admits that “these kids have been my real teachers.” Though there are more compelling and riveting dispatches from pediatric caregivers, Newman’s compassionate approach hits the heart and soul of these unique experiences.
A genuine and inspiring chronicle of a doctor fighting the good fight.