David H. Beyda, MD







 






Member Spotlight
Jeffrey Weiss, MD, FAAP, Pediatric Hospitalist, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of Arizona School of Medicine, Phoenix, AZ 

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?

I grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1971. (Jefferson has been renamed for some rich guy to Sidney Kimmel Medical College- I hate that, but I don’t like advertising logos on my tee shirts either!). I did my PL1 and PL2 year at Columbus Children’s Hospital (now renamed Nationwide Children’s Hospital), then my residency was interrupted by a 2 year stint in the U.S. Army (still named the U.S. Army). It was the Vietnam War era, but I was assigned to the Pediatric Clinic at Ft. Hamilton in Brooklyn, New York, so I didn’t see any combat. After the Army, I returned to Jefferson to finish my residency and join the faculty in the Pediatric Ambulatory Department. Eventually, I became Residency Director, Associate Department Chairman, and published just enough papers to get promoted to Clinical Professor. Then, sort of out of the blue, in 1993, my wife and I decided we had had enough of the east coast weather, so we moved to Phoenix, where I was the Pediatric Clinic Director at Maricopa Medical Center for about 2 years. In 1995, I came to PCH where I was Chief of General Pediatrics until 2007. The division had grown so large by 2007 that we decided to split into an Ambulatory group and a Hospitalist group. Everyone had to select which group to join, and I had been doing mostly outpatient stuff my whole life, so I decided to become a hospitalist to try something new. I also used that opportunity to step down as Chief, resign from all committees, and start the weaning process towards retirement. Nowadays, I take 3 months off in the summer and work alternate weeks the rest of the year…it’s a great schedule!

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR GIVEN PRACTICE COMPARED TO OTHERS?

Except for my choice to be a hospitalist in 2007, I’m not sure I ever really chose a career path. Various opportunities arose and I was just in a position to take advantage of them. When the hospitalist movement was first starting in the late 1990’s, I developed and organized the KidsLink Hospitalist Service for PCH. It has been interesting to watch how hospitalist programs have developed nationally and the role they are playing in improving the quality and safety of hospital care for children. I think it was partly a desire to be involved in a rapidly developing new field that led me to be a hospitalist.

WHAT LED YOU TO YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE INJURY PREVENTION COMMITTEE OF THE AAP?

When St. Luke’s Hospital went from being a non-profit to a for-profit hospital, it was required to divest all charitable funds that were donated, so they set up a trust for community projects. My whole career had been in patient care and medical education, but I hadn’t done much advocacy work. In order to fill that gap, I applied for a grant to develop an injury prevention center at PCH. The center was able to get large grants from the National Highway Safety Administration (to research methods to get parents to use booster seats) and the Center for Disease Control (to investigate some novel methods to get middle school kids to wear bicycle helmets.) When a position on the AAP Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention (COIVPP) was open, I was asked to apply, and I jumped at the chance.

WHAT WERE THE POLICY STATEMENTS THAT YOU WROTE AND WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES?

During my six years on COIVPP, I had the opportunity to be the lead author for the Teen Driver, Pedestrian Injury, and Drowning Prevention policy statements. One of the challenges in writing a policy statement is that there is just such a huge amount of material that needs to be reviewed, most of which is not in the usual journals that pediatricians read. Some of the information is quite technical and much of it relates to legal and legislative issues. A common problem relates to the age to recommend that a child be allowed to do something (i.e., drive independently, walk to school, take swim lessons). Since kids of the same age have wide range of physical and cognitive abilities, giving age dependent advice was always a challenge for me and the committee. Also, just getting through the whole review process is a challenge. After the first draft is finally finished, the document goes to the other committee members for review and I think there were probably 5-10 more drafts before it was done….then it goes out to the other committees for review, then another 2-3 drafts, then to the AAP Board and another final draft. My first policy statement on Teen Drivers took almost 2 years to get published!

HOW HAVE AZAAP AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS HELPED YOU IN OVERCOMING CHALLENGES AND IMPROVING CARE?

The AZAAP has always been supportive of my injury prevention work. The AZAAP helped organize a little pilot project a few years back where community pediatricians gave patients a 4 item quiz that was designed to teach about pool safety and drowning prevention. Follow-up phone calls showed that after that short intervention, parental knowledge about pool safety was improved and a few people actually did install a new pool fence. Unfortunately, we never got funding to expand that project.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE PRACTICING PEDIATRICIANS IN REGARDS TO THE MOST USEFUL ANTICIPATORY GUIDANCE FOR INJURY PREVENTION?

It hurts me to say this, but I think that there is very little solid scientific data to help pediatricians decide which of the hundreds of injury prevention related anticipatory guidance items recommended in AAP policy statements they should pack into a short health maintenance visit. Telling parents to supervise their child carefully does NOT generally work to prevent injuries. You have a better chance of keeping a kid from getting injured if you focus on teaching parents how to create a safe environment for their child. Interventions that have to be done only once seem to work best. Examples include: install a pool fence, get a safe crib, buy a car with high crash protection, and install an age appropriate car seat. Interventions that require repeated actions, such as “keep poisons out of reach” don’t tend to work so well. Of course, it makes sense to focus on trying to prevent high frequency injuries and deaths, such as those caused by teen drivers. I’d like to see pediatricians spend a few seconds referring parents to the AAP material on teen drivers at healthychildren.org and advising parents about the best driving schools in their community. (There is some evidence that kids who learn to drive from their parents get into more crashes!)

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?

What do I do for fun? Well, I enjoy going to Portland Oregon where my kids and grandkids all live. We just bought a small condo up there where my wife of 46 years and I spend the summer. On my weeks off, I have been volunteering at the Arizona Science Center. On most days, there are many school groups coming on field trips. Most recently, I developed a tabletop activity that demonstrates how optical illusions work…I have been able to incorporate some little magic tricks into that activity, so the kids, and I, have a lot of fun with that. I still try to golf at least once a week and we like to travel. In the past few years we’ve been on safari to see the migration in Kenya, gorilla trekking in Uganda, climbing Machu Pichu and cruising the Amazon in Peru, and seeing the Ganges River and the Taj Majal in India. When we travel, I like to do a lot of photography. And, how could I forget, we love to go out to eat for fun! We do that a lot!

 










Friday, October 20, 2017 8:30 AM • Phoenix Children's Hospital - Melvin L. Cohen Conference Center 1920 E. Cambridge Ave., Phoenix, AZ
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 7:30 AM • Rosenburg Children's Medical Plaza , Cohen Conference Center 1920 E. Cambridge, Phoenix, AZ
Friday, October 27, 2017 12:15 PM • The Camby Hotel 2401 E Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ




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