Making the Rounds with Boston’s Top Docs
A chat with half a dozen of this year’s top doctors in leading specialties.
DR. MARGARET MANION
Practice: Longwood Pediatrics
Hospital affiliation: Children’s Hospital
Board certification: Pediatrics
Education: Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Years in practice: 18
Why did you choose pediatrics? In the third year of medical school, you rotate through the various specialties. It’s sort of like trying on a new piece of clothing: You see if you can envision yourself in that kind of career. When I got to pediatrics, it felt the most comfortable.
What do you find most rewarding about your practice? I’ve always enjoyed being able to follow patients and their families over the long term, being able to watch children as they grow and develop from crib to college.
What are the biggest challenges? As a pediatrician, you don’t truly have one patient. You have the patient, and then you have the mother and the father and the sister and the brother and sometimes the grandmother. And so even though a patient may not be able to speak yet, you have to interpret the information you’re getting from all these other sources, which can be difficult at times.
What innovations have you seen in your practice? Technology has been the most revolutionary change—using electronic medical records to document our patient care. The trick with these systems is getting them all to talk to each other. Patients see us walking around with laptops and think we’re right on the cutting edge, which we are, but for example my office system doesn’t talk to the system at the hospital across the street yet. There are still bridges to be built. When we succeed at that, it will be a wonderful thing.
What’s one thing parents can do to safeguard their children’s health? People have a lot of questions about vaccines these days, but I’m here to say that they’re very safe and can be lifesaving. They’re one of the most important things that parents and pediatricians can do together for their children.
What’s an essential quality for a pediatrician to have? Flexibility. You never know when you wake up in the morning just what the day has in store for you. Something unexpected always happens.
What’s been your favorite moment as a doctor? Any day when someone who was a patient for all of her growing-up years comes in with her new baby and is there for, you know, “round two.” That’s probably one of the biggest thrills. And, I think, just seeing your patients grow up to do interesting and worthwhile things with their lives. That’s really what it’s all about.