All posts by Clay Jones

Clay Jones, M.D. is a pediatrician practicing at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, MA, and a regular contributor to the Science-Based Medicine blog. He primarily cares for healthy newborns and hospitalized children, and devotes his full time to educating pediatric residents and medical students. Dr. Jones first became aware of and interested in the incursion of pseudoscience into his chosen profession while completing his pediatric residency at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital a decade ago. He has since focused his efforts on teaching the application of critical thinking and scientific skepticism to the practice of pediatric medicine. Dr. Jones has no conflicts of interest to disclose and no ties to the pharmaceutical industry. He can be found on Twitter as @skepticpedi and is the co-host of The Prism Podcast with fellow SBM contributor Grant Ritchey.

The “It’s All Good!” Fallacy of Complementary and Alternative Medicine…..

As a young mother comforts her feverish and uncomfortable infant, a doctor enters the dimly-lit exam room. The child’s mother and the bedside nurse look at him expectantly. “I’ve got the results. There is an infection in your son’s spinal fluid, which was one of the things we discussed as a possible cause of his high fever and irritability,” the physician explains...

/ October 24, 2014

Delaying School Start Times for Sleep Deprived Teens

In August of this year, a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics was published which tackled the widespread problem of insufficient sleep in our adolescent population. They even went so far as to label insufficient sleep as “one of the most common, important, and potentially remediable health risks in children.” The statement, which gave a number of recommendations on...

/ October 10, 2014

Hiccups: From Acupuncture to Quantum Touch

nOne of the most common questions I get in the newborn nursery, especially from first time parents, involves hiccups. Babies hiccup in the womb and most, if not all of them, will have periodic bouts of hiccups in the neonatal period. But many new parents are surprised by their baby’s first spasmodic contractions of the diaphragm. When brought up, it is often...

/ September 26, 2014

A Touch to Fear: Chiropractic and the Newborn Baby

A significant part of my job as a pediatric hospitalist involves caring for newborns. It is arguably the best thing that I get to do as a physician, even if I do at times prefer the increased intellectual stimulation of the ill hospitalized child. While seeing newborns, I am almost always surrounded by happy and appreciative parents, grandparents and whoever else is...

/ August 29, 2014

Separating Fact from Fiction in Pediatric Medicine: Nocturnal Enuresis

Nocturnal enuresis, more commonly known as bedwetting, is a normal problem that resolves on its own for most children. Chiropractors claim they can treat it. They can't, but they will take the credit for kids doing it themselves.

/ August 15, 2014

Should the Incidental Discovery of Nonparentage be Disclosed?

The July issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, contains an extremely thought provoking article discussing the risks and benefits of disclosing an incidental finding of nonparentage during pediatric genetic testing. Nonparentage occurs when one, or very rarely both, of the social parents did not serve as source code for a child’s genetic programming, so to speak....

/ August 1, 2014

The Buzzy: Revolutionary Acute Pain Management or Simple Distraction…

I’ve written about the management of acute pain in children in the past, and unfortunately my feelings haven’t changed in the interim. Acute pain, particularly pain related to procedures such as venipuncture for blood sampling and intravenous access, and intramuscular administration of medications such as antibiotics and vaccines, is commonly undertreated, downplayed and even ignored altogether by medical professionals and even caregivers....

/ July 4, 2014

Is There a Role for the Art of Medicine in Science-Based Practice?

The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head. The practice of medicine is an art, based on science. -Sir William Osler, AEQUANIMITAS The truth is that many of us have some kind of “extraordinary gift.” For a few of us, that gift...

/ June 20, 2014

Separating Fact from Fiction in Pediatric Medicine: Infant Gastroesophageal Reflux

By now, regular SBM readers should be aware of the Choosing Wisely initiative. Just in case, Choosing Wisely is a campaign developed by the ABIM Foundation to bring together experts from a variety of medical specialties in order to identify common practices that should be questioned by patients and providers, if not outright discontinued. Their ultimate goal was not to establish treatment...

/ May 23, 2014

Separating Fact from Fiction in the Not-So-Normal Newborn Nursery: Newborn Jaundice

By far the most common medical problem in newborn infants is jaundice, typically appreciated as a yellowish discoloration of the skin caused by increased blood levels of a pigment called bilirubin. In my role as a newborn hospitalist, I manage jaundice every day. If I am not treating jaundice, in every single baby I see I am at least determining the risk...

/ May 9, 2014