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Listening is a Skill

I recently read this excerpt in a publication for physicians:

“A 2016 study suggested that patients of female physicians have superior outcomes. The publication of that finding prompted much speculation about why it might be so: perhaps women are more intuitive, more empathic, more attentive to detail, better listeners, or even kinder? I don’t know whether any of those generalizations are true, but my personal experience and observations make me sure of this: when women do possess these positive traits, we tend to discount their significance and may even consider them liabilities. We assume that anyone can be a good listener, be empathic — that these abilities are nothing special and are the least of what we have to offer our patients.”

I recently saw a 2 week old baby with severe belly distention and difficulty passing bowel movements. He had had problems since hours after birth. The nursery staff even did an abdominal x-ray and gave him a suppository, but discharged him home without further work-up. He then saw a colleague of mine with a very busy clinic that I used to work for ~1 week after birth. Parents told the staff there the same thing they told me. At 2 weeks old when I saw him, I could tell his parents were at their wits end. The moment I examined him and heard their story, I knew something was wrong. Reminds me of something one of my most respected professors always repeated, 90% of the diagnosis comes from the history that the patient/parent tells you. The art of medicine is very much founded on the art of listening. It was my pleasure that day to refer this patient and their family to the CHOA Scottish Rite ER so that they could receive life-saving intervention. It is one of my greatest rewards to hear a Mom say to me after hospital discharge, “Thank you for listening.”

The Truth About Vaccines

Wow! This documentary series is changing the dogma that I have learned and known for the past 20 years. Definitely will be instituting some changes. Previously I supported parents who chose not to vaccinate primarily for philosophical reasons. I believe every parent should have the right to choose what they do or do not do in terms of medical intervention with their child. This series has taught me a lot about vaccine safety. I encourage all patients to research and learn about vaccines and make an educated decision based on the information.

Here is the link to the website:

Why I Am In Love with Holistic Wellness

My passion for holistic wellness stems more from my experience as a patient than it does from my experience as a doctor. I’ve been a patient who felt fatigued with aches and pains only to be told by a traditional medical doctor that I was “healthy”. I’ve since come to determine that there’s a difference between being “healthy” and “being well”.
In my 20s as a medical student, I was diagnosed with a strange medical conditionhealthy food with measure tape indicating weight loss. My doctor offered me what he knew best, prescription medicine. I soon discontinued taking the medication because of the side effects. I then went on a journey to learn my body and know what works well with it and what doesn’t. I believe that is what wellness is all about. Traditional medicine tends to focus on objective data, e.g., labs, scans, x-rays, reports, etc. Holistic wellness focuses on how a person feels, e.g., energy level, mental clarity, stamina, etc.

Hometown Doctor; Hometown Feel

My goal is to provide personalized service in a big city that make families feel as if they are in a small town and the doctor knows their name and their kids.  I’ve worked in practices before where patients were seen at such a rapid pace that it felt more like an assembly line than a healing relationship.  I also aim to listen to patients’ concerns (really parents’ concerns) with a tender heart.  Since becoming a Mom, I’ve realized that every concern matters.  I also believe that parents know their kids best.  I have the experience with thousands of kids and the expertise of years of training in clinical medicine.  However, I only get to spend a few minutes at a time with your child.  I don’t believe in the paternalistic view of which I’ve seen where the doctor knows it all and that’s it.  No discussion.  That may have worked twenty years ago, but that was before the information age.  We now live in an age where everyone has access to information-good and bad. I will listen to your concerns and offer my advice.  The decision and action is up to you!

Group of different families together of all races

Healthy Families; Healthy Communities

Personalized Service from a Doctor Mom

I think what sets our practice apart from other pediatric practices is the holistic approach and personalized service that we give to our families.  I named the practice “FamilyWellnessMD” because our focus is the entire family.  No child exists alone; they all belong in families.  When we see a new client, we are welcoming a new family to our practice.  I think being a Mom has increased my pediatric skills and knowledge a hundred-fold.  I know what it’s like to have a baby with a diaper rash that appeared overnight and now is rapidly spreading.  I also have had experience with a child whose cough seems to get worse at night and keeps them up.  Or a child who one minute is fine and the next is listless with fever and who turns out to have an ear infection seemingly within a matter of hours.

I have been classically trained at some of the best universities in the land.  I’m also a pediatric sub-specialist and spent years taking care of sick kids with cancer and blood disorders in the hospital.  I know what it’s like to have a really sick child and my goal is to prevent our patients from going to the hospital.  If you’re looking for a Doctor Mom that cares, check us out! We serve the Duluth, North Fulton and general Gwinnett area.Dr. Taylor at Work

Fruit, Veggies and Weight!

If you consume a lot of blueberries, strawberries, apples, onions and other flavonoid-rich fruits and veggies—organic, preferably—then your waistline may thank you! At least, that’s what a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, or BMJ indicates. The researchers say that a diet rich in those foods may help with weight management and maintenance.

Flavonoids, which are found naturally in most fruits and veggies, have a strong representation, too, since there are more than 6,000 types of flavonoids, including flavonols, flavones, flavanones and anthocyanins.

Although past studies have associated dietary flavonoids with weight loss, with most of the research focusing on flavan-3-ol, a flavonoid in green tea, this study focused on seven types of flavonoids and their effects on weight. Those seven types are: flavanols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins and flavonoid polymers.

Here’s how the study went: Every four years between 1986 and 2011, 124,086 men and women aged 27 to 65 were required to complete a dietary questionnaire, from which the researchers assessed the participants’ intake of these dietary flavonoids. Likewise, the study’s participants’ weight, lifestyle habits and any health history were assessed via a questionnaire completed every two years.

The results? Anthocyanins, flavonoid polymers and flavonols were linked to the least weight gain in the participants. In fact, not only were those the flavonoids most associated with weight management, for each additional 10mg of anthocyanins, 138mg of flavonoid polymers and 7mg of flavonols consumed daily, there was an associated .16 to .23 pounds of less weight gained each four years.

And what foods were the primary contributors of these in the study? Well, the main sources of anthocyanins were blueberries and strawberries, and the major suppliers of flavonols were onions and tea. Likewise, apples and tea were the main contributors to flavan-3-ols and their polymers.

The researchers point out that their findings are observational, but are quick to add, “Higher intake of foods rich in flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins and flavonoid polymers may contribute to weight maintenance in adulthood.” (and childhood)

This is important in the long run because, as the researchers also point out, preventing just small amounts of weight gain can have a significant, positive impact on public health.

This study is among a growing body of research and studies that indicate a diet filled with fruits and veggies are a part of a healthy diet that can support vibrant health, including a healthy weight.

healthy food with measure tape indicating weight loss


4/6/16-adapted from article by Julie Helm at

Benefits of Exercise

Avoid Processed Foods as Much as You Can

healthy food with measure tape indicating weight lossProcessed Foods, Autoimmune Risk

Processed foods. The temptation to eat them may be strong, since they are often ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat—quick and easy to get on the table.

But you’ll want to keep that temptation in check not only because past studies have reported that consuming processed foods can increase the risk of heart disease, colorectal disease and weight gain, but also because a newer study published in the Autoimmunity Reviews suggests that eating processed foods might weaken the intestines in ways that may raise the risk for autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hepatitis and more.

The term “processed foods” seems pretty self-explanatory, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines processed foods as “any food other than a raw agricultural commodity and includes any raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing, such as canning, cooking, freezing, dehydration or milling.”

And there are a slew of processed foods on the market—and people are buying and consuming them with gusto. In fact, a nationwide analysis of U.S. grocery purchases (from 2000 to 2012) published in 2015 showed that highly processed foods made up more than 60 percent of the calories in foods purchased. That’s “highly processed foods” alone, such as sodas, desserts, candy and cookies, but doesn’t include foods that are categorized as “minimally processed” (such as fruit canned in syrups or salted nuts) or “basically processed” (such as sugar, flour and oil). When you add those in, then the amounts are over-the-top.

What occurs during autoimmune disease is that the immune system turns on itself, attacking healthy cells in the body because it mistakes those healthy cells for foreign invaders. This, in turn, can lead to body tissue destruction as well as abnormal organ function and growth.

The research team explained that many autoimmune diseases are a result of “tight junctions” in the intestines which become dysfunctional. Tight junctions are sealants between epithelial cells which protect the lining of the GI tract called the mucosa. When tight junctions function normally, they protect the immune system from bad bacteria and other unwanted foreign invaders. (As a reminder, up to 80 percent of your immune system is housed in the gut, so it makes sense that what adversely affects the gut can also disrupt immunity.)

When tight junctions have become compromised, however, toxins can then enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases. (Having damaged tight junctions is also frequently referred to as “leaky gut.”)

Professor Lerner made this comment, “Control and enforcement agencies such as the FDA stringently supervise the pharmaceutical industry, but the food additive market remains unsupervised enough. We hope this study and similar studies increase awareness about the dangers inherent in industrial food additives, and raise awareness about the need for control over them.”

Good point.

And remember: to avoid processed foods, choose fresh organic foods instead and build your diet around them.

—adapted from Extraordinary Health newsletter, February 3, 2016

Winning the Weight War

Weight management is an ongoing battle for many people, but your diet and lifestyle can either fight for you or against you when it comes to taming your weight. Truth be told, a typical Western diet and lifestyle can wreak havoc on your weight, but there are ways to help win the weight war.

But just what is a typical Western diet and lifestyle, and how can they work against a healthy weight? Glad you asked! Western diets are characterized by processed foods, including unhealthy carbs, fats and proteins which can also have toxins called obesogens in them that can lead to obesity. Likewise, the Western lifestyle is a stressed-filled one that is short on regular, adequate exercise and sufficient sleep. Combined, these can lead to a sluggish metabolism, imbalanced blood sugar levels, resulting in food cravings and weight gain as well as stress hormones (such as cortisol) which can also lead to overeating and weight gain.

adapted from extraordinaryhealth.comHealthyLadySmiling

New Kind of Doctor

I believe in holistic medicine which differs a bit from the traditional medicine that I was taught in medical school and residency. Since being a mom starting ~5 years ago, my perspective changed on how we deliver healthcare to kids. Standard pediatric medicine in my opinion is more of a factory than it is the caring, preventive environment that it should be.

My goal in creating the FamilyWellnessMD (DBA) is to deliver personalized holistic care from mom and medical doctor. Our goal is to deliver excellent preventive care with an emphasis on nutrition and fitness to kids that need it!
This impacts children for generations to come! Our kids in this current day and age have less of a life expectancy than their parents due to diet and lifestyle choices. My goal is not just to treat infections and provide immunizations to them as their doctor, but to arm them with life changing information and tools that can ultimately extend their lives!