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Physician Connection
A Communication Service for Physicians from CHOC and CHOC at Mission. Please Note: Physician Connection is no longer being printed and is now available electronically. Please visit our blog at http://docs.chocchildrens.org for the latest articles for our physician community. You can also receive our electronic Physician Connection newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

Physician Spotlight: Maureen Downes, M.D.

"I don't think you can meet a pediatrician who doesn't love being one. Where there are children, there is hope," says CHOC pediatrician Maureen Downes, M.D. "Even if bad things have happened during the day, it all melts away when you see a baby smile."

Dr. Downes originally intended to develop a niche in caring for adolescents when she opened her private practice in 1981. A graduate of the Georgetown School of Medicine, Dr. Downes did her internship at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, and completed her residency and a twoyear adolescent medicine fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. But she quickly found that the families near her Irvine office had babies and young children at home, so she switched focus and started treating the children of her community while beginning a family of her own. As a working mother, Dr. Downes found immediate rapport with many of the parents in her practice. She made it a priority to care for their needs, as well as those of her young patients.

"We walk with our families through sickness and through parenting. If we have a mother who is having trouble breastfeeding, we will sit down with her and demonstrate some simple techniques," Dr. Downes says. "We know that some mothers are simply unable to attend breastfeeding classes because of scheduling conflicts."

Patient education has always been important to Dr. Downes. Her website includes helpful links to organizations, including CHOC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Medical Association. "My patients' parents are very educated and often come into my office with information they have found on the Internet," she says. "I put educational links and AAP active sources on my website so I could direct parents to reliable sources."

PROVIDING JOB-SHARING OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORKING-MOM PEDIATRICIANS

With three children of her own, ranging in age from 14 to 26, Dr. Downes understands the challenges of balancing a demanding full-time time career with family. She deliberately created job-sharing opportunities to give other women the opportunity of working part-time so they could enjoy the best of both worlds. "I think it is too hard to be a full-time working mother. My generation suffered a loss of family ties in order to be doctors," she says. "So, in my practice, I have all young women who work three days a week. This way, they can be pediatricians and spend time with their children - and balance their lives. I continue to keep a full-time schedule myself to maintain structure."

Dr. Downes says the three-day-a-week staffing arrangement is beneficial for all. The parents like it because many of the pediatricians on staff are the same age they are, and relate to them very well. The pediatricians are able to balance work with family, and her practice has 100 percent coverage.

A STRONG CHOC SUPPORTER

In addition to caring for the needs of her patients, families and staff, Dr. Downes has turned her maternal eye toward CHOC. A member of the CHOC medical staff since 1981, she is an avid supporter of the CHOC Foundation For Children. She encourages her colleagues to do the same.

"CHOC helps us with our patients, so I feel we should help them," she says. "The specialists are always available to answer questions and to help us through the weekends when patients are having problems. And the CHOC nurses are outstanding."

Maureen Downes, M.D., is in association with Amy Cox, M.D.; Mary Ann Galang-Lomboy, M.D.; Elaine Gan-Young, M.D.; and Peggy Tse, M.D.; at Irvine Pediatrics. Her office is located at 16300 Sand Canyon Avenue, Suite 811. To reach her, please call 949-753-9000 or visit her online at www.irvinepediatrics.com.

CHOC CHILDREN'S PUBLICATIONS
PHYSICIAN CONNECTION ENEWSLETTER
KIDS HEALTH MAGAZINE
ANNUAL REPORT
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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

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