The Palo Alto Center Radiation Oncology Department’s three newest employees bring some very special qualities to work – gentle natures, soft fur and wet noses! Therapy specialists Sparky, Sunny and Wallie are the first three dogs who are part of PAMF’s Irene Davidson Animal Assisted Therapy Program that launched in January 2012.
Although Gordon Ray, M.D., medical director of the Palo Alto Center’s Radiation Oncology Department, had read about the benefits of pet therapy for cancer patients in scientific journals, it was a real live dog visit to his department that inspired him to start PAMF’s Animal Assisted Therapy Program.
“You’ll often hear me say, ‘If I were you…,’ or ‘If this were me,’ – I put myself in my patient’s situation and try to live my advice,” says Ritika Aulakh, D. O., a family medicine doctor at the Fremont Center. Dr. Aulakh is a doctor of osteopathy which means she has additional training in musculoskeletal care as well as being board certified in traditional medicine.
“The most rewarding part of being a doctor is the relationship I develop with my patients and the trust they give me,” says Dr. Aulakh in this video, which is part of a series highlighting the diverse voices of PAMF physicians. “Health is the most important thing in your life. I look forward to seeing patients and finding out about their personal life and keeping up with their health.”
A bump on the head is one of those painful yet common childhood experiences that can happen at any age – whether it’s the newly mobile baby rolling off the bed, the elementary school kid falling off the jungle gym, or the teenage athlete colliding with an opposing team member during a high school football game. Pretty scary stuff for parents – should you rush straight to the emergency room? If your child loses consciousness, even briefly, you should seek immediate medical attention. For many minor head bumps, however, careful observation of your child for the first 36 to 48 hours is the most important thing you can do. If you are at all in doubt, don’t hesitate to follow your instincts and consult your doctor.
Do you feel uncertain about giving your children medicine? According to Kellen Glinder, M.D., a Palo Alto Medical Foundation pediatrician at PAMF’s Palo Alto Center, one of the most common questions he hears from parents is, “Should I really give that medication to my child?”
In this video, Dr. Glinder, speaks about the importance of caring for children, especially when they are in pain. “Sometimes kids are so stoic, that by the time we actually know they have pain, it’s way beyond what we as adults could tolerate.”
PAMF Santa Cruz Pediatrician Jackie Busse, M.D., draws from her own childhood experience with doctors when treating her patients.
“I had good doctors and bad doctors, and I learned as much about being a good doctor from that experience as I did from my formal training,” says Dr. Busse.
A favorite part of her job is connecting and building trust with her patients and their families, she says. “I enjoy interacting with the kids – they’re entertaining and resilient. They make it easy to come to work every day.”
Learn more about Dr. Busse in this video, which is part of a series highlighting the diverse voices of PAMF physicians.