Benefits of a Children's Hospital

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Children require specialized care because of their small and growing bodies. This care often involves special skills in communicating with children and their patients, customized equipment to accommodate the developing bodies of children, and an understanding of the treatments and procedures children can tolerate, including the precise doses of medication and anesthesia. In this Patient Power interview sponsored by UCSF Medical Center, Dr. Diana Farmer speaks candidly about the benefits of a children’s hospital. Dr. Farmer is Surgeon-in-Chief at UCSF Children’s Hospital.

Children's hospitals have the expertise that general hospitals don't have. With programs specifically designed for young patients and more than 150 specialists in over 50 areas of medicine, UCSF Children's Hospital is one of the highest ranked pediatric centers in California. Dr. Farmer discusses the importance of seeing a specialist, especially at an institution dedicated to children. She talks about the advantages of visiting an academic research center and why seeking this type of care is critical.

If your child or young family member needs treatment for a medical condition, a children’s hospital is your best hope. To quote Dr. Farmer: “One of the great things for me personally about children’s care and being involved in the science of curing diseases for children is that it’s really true that you are not just saving a life, but you really are saving a lifetime. That’s what makes it so exciting.”

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Andrew Schorr:

Hello and welcome to this edition of Patient Power sponsored by UCSF Medical Center. Today we are discussing UCSF Children’s Hospital. I’m Andrew Schorr and welcome to our program. This is where we connect you to leading experts and really powerful information for you as a parent and for patients too. There is nothing else like it. I’m delighted today that we are visiting with Dr. Diana Farmer who is Surgeon in Chief at UCSF Children’s Hospital. Thank you so much for being with us Dr. Farmer.

Dr. Farmer:

My pleasure. Thank you.

Andrew Schorr:

Dr. Farmer you know I have three kids, and you know I think all care is the same, and if my kid is really sick I could go to whatever hospital is convenient and that’ll be sufficient, that will be perfect, but I know there are cases where going to a leading world famous center like yours can make a difference. Maybe even save a life.

Dr. Farmer:

Well Andrew I think that in the old days and for certain minor things generalists took care of everything, but today medicine has become so complex that it is hard for any one doctor be a specialist in everything. So nowadays there are specialists for adults and specialists for children. Most families see a pediatrician nowadays. Some in certain parts of the country where they are not readily available still see family practice docs and that’s just fine but, when it comes to surgery, today, there is a surgical specialist in every field just for children. Just like you wouldn’t go to a brain surgeon to have your colon cancer removed, nowadays there is no need to go to an adult surgeon to have your child operated on.

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