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Sarah Ryan

Pediatrician

About Me

Hi! My name is Sarah Ryan and I am a pediatrician with Rex/UNC Physicians Network. I am on a mission to see if we can do a better job with treating pain and better yet, preventing pain in the first place. I have suffered with chronic pain myself, and one of the most painful experiences I ever encountered was getting a steroid injection in my back (yes, even worse than childbirth and a kidney stone!). I realized that I personally, and the medical profession in general, don't do enough to address pain prevention and treatment. We have just accepted that going to the doctor involves a certain amount of pain. I say, lets work to change this! In our general pediatric office, we strongly believe that vaccination is a cornerstone of health and saves lives. Unfortunately, it comes with a painful injection. How many of you have kids? How many of love to take your kids to the doctor for shots? (said no one ever!) In the 1950's there were only 4 vaccines, so with boosters, a total of 16 shots were given. Fast forward to 2016, the number of vaccines has quadrupled. There are now 16 vaccines (with more potentially to be added) for a total of 69 doses! This adds up to over 120 million shots given/year. No wonder we are seeing more problems with needle phobia. What do ~10% of adults (including famous people like Jackie Chan, Snoop Dog and Conan O'brien) have in common with your kids? They are all afraid of needles. This can lead to avoidance of proper healthcare. I want to help prevent this problem. Recently, the World Health Organization reviewed ways to reduce pain with shots, so make sure to talk to your child's doctor or nurse about this. I would like to take my career in a direction to see if even more can be done. http://www.who.int/immunization/policy/position_papers/pp_pain_mitigation_2015_references.pdf

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