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Best Pediatric Specialists in Dallas

Our exclusive list of the best 179 pediatric specialists in Dallas-Fort Worth. PLUS: U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona has declared obesity, the new millennium’s latest threat to public health, an epidemic. Obesity is certainly nothing new, but now it’s affecting our kids. Here’s how to fight it.
By D Magazine |

The Best Pediatric Specialists in Dallas

To compile our list of the top 179 pediatric specialists, we
surveyed more than 2,200 pediatricians and medical professionals in
Dallas-Fort Worth. We also made the ballot available online at www.dmagazine.com.
We asked physicians to nominate up to three of their peers in each
practice area, based on experience, reputation, and knowledge. Only
those with a valid Texas State Medical License were eligible to vote.

Once
the votes were tallied, we enlisted a team of respected local
pediatricians to review the list. Because in some instances patients
have no choice regarding who treats them, based on the recommendation
of our team of experts, we did not include the following areas of
practice: anesthesia, critical care, emergency medicine, neonatology,
or pathology. Our list is extensive but by no means entirely inclusive.
If your child’s doctor is not on this list but you trust her
implicitly, we recommend you stick with her.

ADOLESCENT MEDICINE

Drew Alexander, Adolescent Health Associates
John Edlin, Adolescent Health Associates

ALLERGY/IMMUNOLOGY

Deborah D. Fawcett, Texas Regional Asthma and Allergy Center
Elliot J. Ginchansky, Allergy & Asthma Associates
Rebecca Gruchalla, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Elisa B. Lange, AIR Care
John B. Meiser, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Associates
Michael E. Ruff, Dallas Allergy & Asthma Center
Robert W. Sugarman, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Associates
Richard L. Wasserman, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Associates

CARDIAC SURGERY

Steven R. Leonard, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Eric N. Mendeloff, Medical City
Hisashi Nikaidoh, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
W. Steves Ring, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC

CARDIOLOGY

Sarah D. Blumenschein, Children’s Medical Center
Ted J. Carlson, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas
David E. Fixler, Children’s Medical Center
Paul Gillette, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Susan Hess, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Jane M. Kao, Medical City
Tracy H. Laird, Medical City
Pennock Laird Jr., Medical City
W. Pennock Laird Sr., Medical City
Andrew Lashus, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Lee Ann Pearse, Medical City
Claudio Ramaciotti, Children’s Medical Center
William Scott, Children’s Medical Center
Deepak Srivastava, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Daniel Stromberg, Children’s Medical Center
Damaris Wright, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas
Thomas Zellers, Children’s Medical Center

CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Jeffrey L. Black, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Elaine M. Ellis, Pediatric Medical Group of Dallas

DERMATOLOGY

K. Robin Carder, Children’s Medical Center
Fred Ghali, Pediatric Dermatology of North Texas
Howard A. Rubin, Medical City

ENDOCRINOLOGY

Bryan A. Dickson, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Carla R. Scott, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Ellen S. Sher, Medical City
Paul Thornton, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Perrin White, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC

GASTROENTEROLOGY

John M. Andersen, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
John Baker, Digestive Health Associates
Kendall O. Brown, Digestive Health Associates
Lyn Hunt Cook, Children’s Medical Center
Annette E. Whitney, Digestive Health Associates

GENERAL PEDIATRICS

Ronald M. Blair, Medical City
Michael Brown, Pediatric Associates of Dallas
Debra L. Burns, Private Practice
Alan Devilleneuve, North Dallas Pediatrics
Ernie M. Fernandez, Clinical Pediatric Associates
Ross Finkelman, Pediatric Associates of Dallas
Vanthaya N. Gan, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Jules Greif, Bluitt Flowers Clinic
Thai V. Hoang, Stonebriar Pediatrics
Susan Hubbard, Pediatric Associates of Dallas
Albert G. Karam, Medical City
Scott L. Katz, Plano Pediatrics
Frank E. Martinez, Private Practice
Angela P. Mihalic, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Gary C. Morchower, Richardson Pediatric Association
Tom Murphy, Private Practice
Daniel D. Nale, Medical City
Sherry Nussbaum, Private Practice
Joseph P. Peterman, Preston Centre Pediatrics
Claude Prestidge, Pediatric Associates of Dallas
Tammi Schlichtemeier, Coppell Pediatrics
Lori S. Seibert, North Dallas Pediatrics
Peter Sherrod, Pediatric Associates of North Texas
Joel B. Steinberg, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Susan Stevenson, Private Practice
Phyllis Stone, Presbyterian Hospital of Plano
Cynthia Webb, Pediatric Associates of Dallas
Matthew M. Yaeger, Pediatricians of Dallas

GENETICS/METABOLISM

Michael Bober, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Andrea E. Cramer, Private Practice
Angela E. Scheuerle, Medical City
Lewis J. Waber, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Golder N. Wilson, Cook Children’s Medical Center

HEMATOLOGY/ONCOLOGY

Robert Bash, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Daniel C. Bowers, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
George Buchanan, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Stanton Goldman, Medical City
Carl Lenarsky, Medical City
Zora R. Rogers, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Joann M. Sanders, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Joel A. Weinthal, Medical City
Naomi J. Winick, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC

INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Stuart W. Ehrett, PID Associates
Gregory Istre, PID Associates
Marc A. Mazade, PID Associates
George McCracken, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Octavio Ramilo, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Mark M. Shelton, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Jane D. Siegel, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Suzanne Whitworth, Cook Children’s Medical Center

NEPHROLOGY

Watson C. Arnold, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Michel G. Baum, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Ron Hogg, Medical City
Raymond P. Quigley, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Mouin G. Seikaly, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC

NEUROLOGY

Jay Cook, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Mauricio Delgado, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Roy D. Elterman, Dallas Pediatric Associates
Howard Kelfer, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Steven L. Linder, Dallas Pediatric Associates
Jeffrey McGlothlin, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Van S. Miller, Texas Child Neurology
David Owen, Dallas Pediatric Associates
Anthony R. Riela, Texas Child Neurology
Gerald M. So, Texas Child Neurology

NEUROSURGERY

David Donahue, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Kenneth Shapiro, Children’s Medical Center
Fred Sklar, Children’s Medical Center
Dale M. Swift, Neurosurgeons for Children
Bradley Weprin, Neurosurgeons for Children

OPHTHALMOLOGY

George R. Beauchamp, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Center for Adult Strabismus
Priscilla Berry, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Center for Adult Strabismus
Joel N. Leffler, Private Practice
Eric Packwood, Private Practice
David Stager Jr., Pediatric Ophthalmology
David Stager Sr., Pediatric Ophthalmology
David Weakley, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC

ORTHOPEDICS

John Birch, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Walter Bobechko, Medical City Dallas
Gary Douglas, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Marybeth Ezaki, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Hinton Hamilton, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Tony Herring, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Barry Humeniuk, Presbyterian Hospital of Plano
Lori A. Karol, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Karl E. Rathjen, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
B. Stephens Richards, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
James Sackett, WB Carrell Memorial Clinic

OTOLARYNGOLOGY

Michael J. Biavati, Private Practice
Orval Brown, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Daniel Dansby*, Dallas Otolaryngology Associates
John E. McClay, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Allan D. Murray, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Robert B. Peters*, Dallas Otolaryngology Associates
Greg Rohn*, Southwest ENT 
Timothy Trone*, Medical City

PEDIATRIC SURGERY

Dale Coln, Baylor University Medical Center
William Dammert, Pediatric Surgical Associates
Philip Guzzetta, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Darrell Hermann, Pediatric Surgical Associates
Kevin M. Kadesky, Pediatric Surgical Associates
Stephen Megison, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Thomas H. Renard, Pediatric Surgical Associates
W. Glaze Vaughan, Cook Children’s Medical Center

PLASTIC/CRANIOFACIAL

H. Steve Byrd, Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute
Jeff Fearon, Craniofacial Center at Medical City
David Genecov, International Craniofacial Institute
Craig Hobar, Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute
Kenneth E. Salyer, Medical City

PSYCHIATRY

Graham J. Emslie, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Dan Myers, Private Practice
Roger Robinson, Private Practice
Stephanie Setliff, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Nancy S. Shosid, Private Practice
Dan Steinfink, Bent Tree Psychiatric Associates
James Terfruchte, Private Practice

PULMONARY DISEASES

Andrew Gelfand, Pediatric Pulmonary Specialists
Sami Hadeed, Cook Children’s Medical Center
Peter M. Luckett, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
J. Fernando Mandujano, Medical City
Gerald C. Moore, Private Practice
Kelvin Panesar, Pediatric Pulmonary Associates
Richard Rembecki, KidLungs Pediatric Pulmonology
Peter Schochet, Presbyterian Hospital of Plano
Richard B. Silver, Pediatric Pulmonary Associates of North Texas

RHEUMATOLOGY

Maria Virginia Pascual, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Marilynn G. Punaro, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

UROLOGY

Linda Baker, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
David Ewalt, Medical City
Clanton Harrison, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
Kirk Pinto, Urology Associates of North Texas
Warren Snodgrass, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC
William Strand, Children’s Medical Center/UTSWMC

* These doctors are general ENTs, not pediatricians.


DARK SECRET:
Obesity is also a social concern. To save him from embarrassment, we
didn’t use 14-year-old Jeffrey’s real name, and his mother asked that
we photograph him in shadows.

 

 

Mommy, Do I Look Fat?

Fourteen-year-old Jeffrey* has few fond memories from first through
third grades. “I came home crying every day,” says the brown-haired,
blue-eyed teenager. Back then, Jeff weighed 20 to 30 pounds more than
his peers. But his personality and sense of humor outshined his weight
problem. He was elected student council president in elementary school
and developed a love for basketball. When his parents stepped in to
help motivate him to lose weight, they did it by encouraging his hoop
dreams: they hired a trainer. Soon Jeff was practicing drills and
watching what he ate. And he was losing weight.

“My mom used to
say, ‘Whenever you want to make a change, Jeff, it’s got to be from
you.’” He now carries 175 pounds on his 5-foot-7-inch frame, compared
to his weight of 153 pounds at age 10, when he was only 4-foot-8—almost
a foot shorter but only 22 pounds lighter. “I wanted to look good at my
bar mitzvah,” he says, which took place last year.

“Yeah, and
you wanted to look good for girls,” his mother quips. Jeff’s mom
credits weekly family outings to classes at Weight Watchers as a huge
factor in his success. “The entire family went,” she says. “We didn’t
single anyone out.”

Like other children, Jeff suffers from
obesity. U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona has declared obesity an
epidemic and a health catastrophe that already has killed millions.
Among previous public health threats—pre-antibiotic infection, lack of
water sanitation, recreational drug use, and runaway sexually
transmitted infections (the latter two involving HIV disease)—obesity
stands alone with the capacity to impinge on a person’s quality of life
in every aspect: daily life, workforce potential, and contribution to
society.

People have always come in all different shapes and sizes. Being overweight, even morbidly obese, is nothing new. What is
new is the toll this deadly epidemic has taken on America’s youth.
Obesity cuts short someone’s ability to achieve mental, emotional,
physical, social, and spiritual potential. Along its rampage toward
premature death, obesity enlists powerful friends: joint pain, high
cholesterol, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, heart disease,
hardening of the arteries, asthma, sleep apnea, polycystic ovarian
disease, cancer, type II diabetes, and insulin resistance.
Psychological issues are deeply rooted, manifesting as depression and a
lack of self-esteem. And let’s not forget general embarrassment. Even
though Jeff is a happy, healthy 14-year-old and student council
president at his middle school, we changed his name (and didn’t use his
mom’s name) because they feared “social repercussions.”

Jeff is
not alone in his weight struggles. “I am appalled at the rising number
of kids in my practice whom I have had to refer to specialists,” says
Dr. Gary Morchower, head of the Pediatric Society of Greater Dallas’
Outreach Committee to Combat Obesity and clinical professor of
pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical School. Children with high blood
pressure, type II diabetes, gallbladder disease, and high cholesterol
are all new components of his 30-plus-year career in clinical practice.

According
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 percent of
children (ages 6 to 19) were overweight in 2000, compared to 10 percent
in 1974. “Overweight” is difficult to explain in common English. It is
technically defined as at or above the 85th percentile in body mass
index, which is defined as weight in kilograms divided by meters
squared. Obesity is defined as at or above the 95th percentile in BMI.

Confused?
Here’s a better example. Someone who is overweight weighs more than 110
percent of his or her healthy weight; obese people weigh more than 120
percent of their healthy weight. In other words, if you should weigh 100 pounds, but you actually weigh 120 pounds, you are obese. Healthy weights differ, of course, depending on gender and body frame.

Obesity
has not hit youth equally. In yet another illustration of health
disparities, America’s overweight African-American and Mexican-American
children far outnumber whites. In 2000, the prevalence of overweight
children (ages 6-11) was 40 percent for African-Americans, 47 percent
for Mexican-Americans, and 25 percent for overweight white children.
Adolescents (ages 12-19) weighed in at 40 percent, 43 percent, and 26
percent, respectively. Experts attribute these differences to language
barriers, less access to health care, poorer compliance with health
advice, more frequent indulgence in unhealthy foods, and a higher
genetic predisposition to obesity.

What are we doing wrong?

On
the whole, we’re eating too much and the wrong kinds of food (including
soft drinks), spending too much time watching TV, working at the
computer, and playing video games instead of being active on the
playground. Loss of the family as a cohesive unit, busy lifestyles,
double-income parents who spend less time at home, and food and drink
advertising directed toward children also contribute to the epidemic.

Some
techniques are proven to reduce weight. Yes, it is as simple as taking
in fewer calories than you expend throughout the day, whether by
increasing activity or eating less. But the real goal should be to
maintain a reasonable weight, and that requires a lifestyle of good
habits. Experts say making meals a family affair—from preparing them to
cleaning up afterward—makes a big difference. Television or phone
disturbances should be off-limits. And the “clean plate” theory must be
abandoned.

“I grew up being told to clean my plate, that there
are hungry children in China,” says 18-year-old Haley Ann Brasher of
Sunnyvale, who mushroomed to 353 pounds when she was 14. “There was
always enough food around to feed an army.”

Haley struggled with
losing weight throughout high school. She tried hypnosis and Slim-Fast
on her own. She saw multiple nutritionists and doctors. “I’d lose a
little, then go up double,” she says. All told, the pretty blonde with
green eyes endured six years of frustration. Finally, tired of constant
back pain and overall fatigue, she talked with Dr. Larry Barzune, who
performed gastric bypass surgery on Haley in April 2003 at Medical City
Hospital. Now at 5 feet 9 inches, she weighs 150 pounds and is
considering an offer from a modeling school.

“People tell me I’m such a pretty girl all the time now,” she says. “I don’t know how to react.”

Morchower says combating obesity requires a community effort.

“Until
… we do a multitask approach, the doctor isn’t going to be able to do
it by him or herself,” he says. “Doctors need to stress anticipatory
care in order to program parents to start kids early on the track of
good nutrition. We all share responsibility—educators, doctors,
schools, fast-food restaurants, movie theaters, and YMCAs. Everybody
has to work together.”

While many community programs for weight
management exist for both youth and adults, local youth-focused,
hospital-based programs are few and far between. Cook Children’s Health
Care System in Fort Worth offers a yearlong Fit for Life program (see
sidebar on p. 54). But like many hospital-based programs, the attrition
rate is high and long-term success is unproven. And these programs face
challenges such as lack of parental commitment, lack of early positive
feedback, lack of motivation, and program expense.

Just as there
are strategies for regulating weight, there are warning signals that
obesity is imminent. In March, a sibling-pair study at Children’s
Hospital of Philadelphia suggested children who gain weight rapidly
during their first four months are more likely to be overweight at age
7. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends mothers of newborns
breast-feed for at least one year. Mother’s milk protects against
infectious diseases, and studies suggest breast-fed babies are less
likely to become obese later in life.

Despite the increase in
caloric intake, despite the decrease in physical activity, there is one
last possibility: that obesity is a disease. Is food intake regulation
biologically determined? There’s only one way to find out: research.
Yet U.S. funding for obesity research is one-tenth that for AIDS,
according to the American Obesity Association. Until we have more
answers on the age-old debate of nature versus nurture, for right now,
the focus is on modifying environmental influences. And, like it or
not, the burden rests with parents to teach their children eating
habits that last a lifetime.

* Not his real name.

Dr. Mona Khanna is the medical correspondent for CBS 11 News.

Photography by Elizabeth Lavin

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