What Makes A Top Doc?

By Rady Children's Hospital Foundation - San Diego By Rady Children's Hospital Foundation - San Diego | May 28, 2024 | People, Sponsored Post,

At Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, our “Top Docs” are a key reason we consistently rank among the nation’s leading children’s hospitals. But what truly defines an excellent doctor? We asked a few of our very own to share their insights:


“The relentless pursuit of healing, fueled by the profound connection forged with each patient, inspires me to strive for greatness as a physician. Witnessing the transformative impact of all those in the field of health care and their commitment to alleviate suffering ignites a passion for continual evolution. I embrace the intricate tapestry of science and humanity, serving as a beacon of empathy and expertise, navigating illness complexities to unveil pathways to wellness, including better sleep. Specializing in sleep disorders, I aspire to greatness in medicine as a result.” Rakesh Bhattacharjee, MD Director of Pediatric Sleep Medicine at Rady Children’s and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego


“A good doctor is passionate. They are dedicated to positively impacting the lives of children by believing in effective treatments for kids with mental health issues like with depression or anxiety or other emotional and psychological struggles. Good doctors prioritize early intervention and identification, recognizing mental health as crucial to overall well-being. They advocate for destigmatizing mental health treatment, ensuring families feel culturally heard and supported. Driven by curiosity, compassion, and a commitment to serving vulnerable populations, I believe that good doctors strive to make a lasting difference in the lives of their patients. They are the ultimate champions that believe that there is no health without mental health.” Anne Bird, MD Medical Program Director of Behavioral Health Integration at Rady Children’s and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego


“I feel so fortunate to be able to help children and their families at Rady Children’s. I believe that the passion that we have for our work is a big part of what makes a good doctor. I always say that I have my two children at home, but that at the end of the day my patients become “my children” as well. Being a good doctor feels like we become part of our patient’s families and I am so honored to be able to work together with them to make our patients healthy and happy.” Daniela Carvalho, MD, FAAP, MMM Director of the Hearing and Cochlear Implant Program and CHARGE Center at Rady Children’s, and Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at UC San Diego


“As a surgeon, it is assumed that technical excellence has been achieved. A truly excellent doctor understands the patient’s preferences and fears and can help with decision-making for this profoundly important choice, combining empathy with their education and experience.” Michael Kelly, MD Director of Scoliosis and Spinal Deformities at Rady Children’sand Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at UC San Diego


“Excellent doctors are lifelong learners. Medicine is constantly evolving, and the best way to serve my patients is to stay up to date on the latest advancements and research. But it’s also about remembering the human aspect. Every child is unique at Rady Children’s, and I strive to provide personalized care that considers their individual needs and circumstances.” Michael Levy, MD, PhD Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Rady Children’s and Clinical Professor of Neurological Surgery at UC San Diego


“I am particularly proud of the entire Rady Children’s Orthopedic Surgery team. There isn’t anything we can’t handle with compassion and skill from our nationally recognized physicians. The teamwork and collaboration is palpable and this translates to truly outstanding clinical care for our patients.” Peter Newton, MD Chief of Orthopedic Surgery and Surgeon in Chief at Rady Children’s and Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at UC San Diego


“When I was in medical school, I used to think that being a great doctor meant knowing all the latest updates on diagnostic and treatment options and being able to diagnose and treat a patient quickly and accurately. But as I got older, I started to realize that being an effective doctor also meant showing compassion towards your patients and truly listening to what they were saying (or not saying). It means seeing your patients in their entirety and showing compassion and consideration for their current condition, including their physical, social, and emotional well-being. I think being a great physician means building this connection and trust with your patients and helping them feel secure in the treatment decisions that you are making together.” Kyung Rhee, MD Medical Director of the Medical Behavioral Unit for Eating Disorders at Rady Children’s and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at UC San Diego


“As a parent myself, I empathize with the overwhelming distress parents experience when their child is hospitalized. It’s a deeply challenging time, filled with uncertainty and worry. That’s why I make it my daily commitment to practice medicine with unwavering compassion and understanding. By fostering a collaborative partnership with parents, my aim is to provide not only medical expertise but also emotional support. Together, we work tirelessly toward securing the best possible outcome for their child, navigating the complexities of illness with the utmost care and unwavering dedication.” Denise Suttner, MD Clinical Director of Neonatology and Director of ECMO at Rady Children’s and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego

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