Colleagues from other states often express surprise that San Diego has not had a private practice Pediatric GI group – or, for that matter, has not had many private practices in any of the pediatric specialties. Many families, dissatisfied with their local options, leave the San Diego area to seek medical care in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and beyond. With Pediatric Specialty Partners, we are aiming to increase the options for families in the San Diego area who are seeking consummate care for their children with gastrointestinal or otolaryngology/ENT problems.
Dr. Seth Pransky and I had already been colleagues for 8 years or so, collaborating mostly in the area of swallowing difficulties, when we realized something: we share a common vision of personalized subspecialty care and a willingness to take a risk in bringing that vision to life. With the support of our spouses, we started on this new venture.
Dr. Pransky and I realize that there are many excellent doctors already practicing in our respective fields, both in San Diego and nearby in Orange County. What is different about us? One way to look at it as that the larger medical institutions in the area are like a popular chain restaurant. They have an extensive menu, and you know expect that the food is good. But you might have to wait for a table, it might be a bit noisy, and it might be hard to get your meal prepared just the way you like it. Pediatric Specialty Partners, on the other hand, is more like a neighborhood bistro. You can always get a table, everybody knows your name, and the chef caters especially to your taste.
Of course, this restaurant analogy is not perfect. But it conveys the atmosphere we hope to create in our office – one of warmth, mutual respect, and trust, where your needs will be met to the best of our abilities.
A saying, frequently quoted in the course of medical education, is that a listening to the patient’s story will lead to the right diagnosis 80% of the time. Lab tests and advanced imaging, helpful as they are, usually provide only a small fraction of the information we need to provide the best care. It is the old-fashioned approach of sitting and listening, increasingly difficult in the chain restaurant analogy, which ultimately leads us to the conclusions most important to our patients and their families.
Now, I can’t speak with much knowledge about pediatric otolaryngology/ENT, the way that Dr. Pransky can. But I have learned a thing or two about pediatric gastroenterology. When we doctors can get out of our own way, and let our patients tell us their own story in their own words, we can arrive together much more quickly at a correct diagnosis and effective treatment plan. (Often, the solution largely consists of what parents have already been telling their kids to do — eat more fruits and vegetables! Go sit on the toilet! Drink water!)
One of the things that drew me to a career in gastroenterology is how much personality the GI tract has. Each organ has its own function and physiology. But even when we know how they work in theory, real life is often very different. Emotions, diet, and environment all make their mark on our digestive health, in a manner that often seems to defy logic. And for that reason, I want to be able to hear it all.
At Pediatric Specialty Partners, we are starting from scratch. We will schedule our appointments to be slightly longer than you may be used to, and bring in technology that will enhance the appointment, not create a barrier between us. We are opening our office in a location that is easy to access from the freeway, and where it is easy to park. We are creating a schedule which will give us time to answer your
calls promptly, and to update you in a timely way about the results of any tests or studies.
Dr. Pransky and I will be practicing medicine in a new-fangled old-fashioned way, bringing together medical knowledge with an absolute focus on the stories our patients have to tell. We are excited to build this practice, serving children and their families from San Diego and beyond.