With her first exposure to pediatrics in medical school, Dr. Kathryn Mandal knew in her heart that her calling was the care of children. During her medical training in San Antonio, she recognized the need for high-quality comprehensive medical care for the children of Texas. Her greatest reward is the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life and the lives of their parents. A simple smile or laugh from a child is the greatest gift she receives as a pediatrician.
Dr. Mandal sees numerous acute and chronic illnesses in her practice. In pediatrics, some diagnoses have long standing effects on a child’s life. She feels it is her duty as the pediatrician that has been entrusted with a child’s care to provide the latest treatment plan and a comprehensive explanation. Many chronic illnesses such as asthma, allergies, and ADHD have daily regular treatments as well as rescue action plans. These need to be discussed not only with the parents but also with the child, if of an appropriate age. Acute illnesses such as pink eye, ear infections, and strep throat need immediate attention whenever possible, and Dr. Mandal is available for same day appointments in these instances so her patients can be on their way to recovery quicker with less school absenteeism and their parents back to work.
Newborns are her first opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life. Whether her patients’ parents are new or seasoned, Dr. Mandal’s first priority is to ensure the overall health and well-being of the child. Doctors need to do more than listen to breathing and check the ears. Dr. Mandal talks to all of her patients about infant sleep patterns, any feeding issues, and safety concerns such as car seats, sleep position, and SIDS. She also explains to the parents that they know their child the best and need to express any needs or concerns they may have to her for reassurance or education. Every question or concern is important and must be addressed.
Dr. Mandal also emphasizes the need for preventative care with her patients. Well-baby exams, checkups, and annual and sports physicals are an integral part of keeping a child healthy and decreasing their risk of illness. These exams are an opportunity to educate her patients and their families on their age-specific preventative needs. She also encourages her patients and their parents to ask ANY question about their health care and she is eager to provide them with the answers.