Spinal Muscular Atrophy Pediatric Pulmonologist

Dr Mary Schroth

Pediatric pulmonologist

The role of the pediatrician

Dr Mary Schroth, a pediatric pulmonologist, discusses the important role of the pediatrician in the care of children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Q:  What role does the general pediatrician play in the care of children with SMA?

DR SCHROTH: The general pediatrician, in my opinion, has a very critical role. He or she is the person who’s facilitating that the child gets the care and equipment they need, as well as all of their immunizations. The pediatrician should serve as the “medical home,” which isn’t a physical place. It’s really a concept. Medical home refers to who is in the center. The child is in the center of care, but the medical home is where you’d find all the other people who are needed to optimize the child’s medical care. The pediatrician or primary care provider should really be in the middle helping the family navigate their team. The physician usually has team members: a nurse, a scheduler, or a care coordinator who’s helping to coordinate all of that care. For example, yesterday I chatted with a general pediatrician who just wanted to touch base about a child with SMA. He wanted to make sure that he’s doing everything that he can in his role caring for this child. And so we talked about immunizations. We talked about her weight and her growth, which in SMA is a very important part of what they should be monitoring.

Other posts by Dr Schroth

Multidisciplinary care in SMA

Dr Mary Schroth, a pediatric pulmonologist, discusses some of the benefits and challenges of the multidisciplinary care team model in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

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Advances in medical knowledge and supportive care

Dr Mary Schroth, a pediatric pulmonologist, discusses how medical knowledge and supportive care for children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) have improved over the past 20 years.

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