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For PROS information in Kentucky,
contact Chapter PROS Coordinator:

Jeb Teichman, MD, FAAP jsteichmd@gmail.com

Two practitioners Tell All–An Introduction to AAP PROS

Burlington, Mass., pediatrician Ben Scheindlin, M.D., FAAP, does it for “the fun” and enjoys the knowledge that “colleagues all over the country are collaborating on the same effort.” Los Angeles pediatrician Heide Woo, M.D., FAAP, does it because it helps her provide “a higher quality of care” to her patients.

The “it” is participating in Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS) — the Academy’s practice-based research network. Along with 1,700 of their colleagues across the nation, Drs. Scheindlin and Woo help generate knowledge about the best pediatric care, not only for the patients in their offices, but also for those across the country.

Dr. Scheindlin joined PROS in 1995, and all of his colleagues also participate in the research network.

“The excitement of reading about and working on PROS studies spills over and constantly renews my excitement about primary care pediatric practice,” he said. “I get excited every time I see our practice name listed at the end of an article in a medical journal.”

Dr. Scheindlin said he has been able to use PROS research findings in his practice, including the normal time of pubertal onset in girls, the high prevalence of behavioral symptoms in young children and how to manage febrile young infants. PROS studies also have helped him rethink how he approaches well-child care and anticipatory guidance.

“As someone who has always been interested in research and attracted to academic medicine, but was called to clinical primary care practice, it’s great to have readymade opportunities to contribute my small part to important research studies,” Dr. Scheindlin said. “I’m proud to be part of such a high-quality group as PROS. It’s a pediatric grassroots effort; it’s open to anyone who wants to participate, and it makes me feel more connected to the larger AAP.”

Dr. Woo practices with three colleagues, serving a diverse population in West Los Angeles. Since joining PROS in 1999, she has found that participation in studies affects her care of patients in surprising ways.

“I have been asked by parents of boys coming in for physicals about when to expect the onset of puberty,” she noted. “I have been happy and gratified to tell them my part in the Secondary Sexual Characteristics in Boys study, which is designed to answer exactly that question, and that the answer will be available in the next year or two when the full study is complete.”

She also sees benefits with her practice employees. “The office staff who have helped us do the PROS studies have appreciated the fact that we as an office are committed to research and, through the research, also to improving the quality of care we deliver to the patients.”

Both practitioners have seen their roles in PROS grow over the years. Beginning as contributing practitioners, they have gone on to become chapter representatives and members of the network’s steering committee, and have participated in writing up study results (as any PROS practitioner is welcome to do).

Dr. Scheindlin co-authored a recently published paper in Clinical Pediatrics, based on the results of the violence-prevention-oriented Safety Check study. Dr. Woo coauthored a platform presentation at the 2004 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting, based on the results of the PROS Life Around Newborn Discharge study.

“In the era of evidence-based medicine,” Dr. Woo said, “it is quite exciting to be able to prove the value of some of the things we do in general pediatrics, whether it is how we care for young febrile infants or the discussions we have with parents on anticipatory guidance and violence prevention.”

Core funding for PROS is provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the Academy. As always, PROS seeks practitioners interested in participating in its research. To inquire about joining PROS, send an e-mail to pros@aap.org , or call PROS Central at 800/433-9016, extension 7623.

©Copyright 2007 AAP News – Reprinted with permission.