Recently, the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) cited a critical lack of pediatric residency training for behavioral and mental health problems and proposed more education in preventing, recognizing, and managing these conditions. Here’s why any change needs to start with a hard look at what our priorities are.
I found myself in the trenches of the war on obesity in 2000 when I began working as a general pediatrician at a local community clinic in Southern California. I immediately became aware of the day-to-day barriers that my patients were facing and I began to take on the responsibility of making sure that the children I was seeing would not only survive, but also thrive.
I was reading the causes of mortality and morbidity in children and noticed that beyond age 2 years, many of the most likely serious harms to children, especially death, are considered “accidents.” I began wondering about all those situations that we so readily call “accidents.”
We have a serious public health problem called “opiate addiction.” It affects all age groups, and in the last 2 decides it has spread across the country. It used to occur only among the poor and minorities. Now it impacts everyone, even family members of those running for presidential office.
A 2012 Huffington Post article described the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) studies conducted by Vince Felitti and Rob Anda as “the most important public health study that you have never heard of.”