Pediatrics: Then and Now

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From insurance policies to new technology and kids’ health issues, the field of pediatrics has changed immensely over the past 50 years.

For veteran pediatrician Dr. Marshall Blondy from Southfield Pediatrics, those changes have happened right before his eyes.

One of the biggest changes Blondy has witnessed over the past 50 years is health insurance.

Decades ago, patients paid by cash, check or Blue Cross. These days, there are all kinds of insurance companies, which charge different co-pays and have different areas of coverage.

Many people have been told, "your insurance doesn’t cover it," and that aggravates Blondy – who strives to give patients the best medicine for their ailment or send them to the top specialist for their need.

And for the 30 million people without coverage, there are even more issues and unnecessary expenses.

"Those people end up going to hospital emergency rooms for their care," Blondy says.

For this reason, Blondy favors Universal Medical Care for all citizens.

There have also been vast changes in technology over the past 50 years. "Electronic medical records have changed for the better," Blondy says.

Now, parents don’t have to spend time deciphering their physician’s handwriting. Plus, all of the medical records are a click away.

In addition, the Southfield Pediatrics website makes it easy for parents to stay connected with the office. The patient portal allows you to create an account, request appointments, pay your bill or renew a prescription – perfect for parents on-the-go.

And when it comes to what ails kids these days, obesity and ADHD are at the top of the list.

"Obesity rates throughout the entire country are very, very high," Blondy says – and that goes for adults, too.

Kids are often overfed and inactive, which leads to weight problems that could follow them all the way into adulthood.

Blondy’s motto is, "eat less, walk more," and that’s what he encourages all patients to do.

Genetics is also a factor that plays into obesity – but a little bit of work, kids can lose weight with minor changes.

Doctors are also seeing a lot more ADHD in kids. "It has more to do with recognition," Blondy says.

However, it can also be over-diagnosed or misdiagnosed, according to the Blondy. Parents and physicians will notice if kids are not learning properly or having a hard time focusing.

Years ago, people may not have been as aware as they are today. Blondy also notes that ADHD runs in families, so if dad has it, then your kids could have it, too.

In a society that is ever-changing, it is clear that the next 50 years will bring about even more medical advances, changes to insurance policies and cures for what ails children. In the meantime, pediatricians like Dr. Marshall Blondy strive to work with families and keep kids healthy.

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