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Robert Wiskind

Robert Wiskind MD, FAAP

Name:

Robert Wiskind MD, FAAP

Email:

rwiskind@peachtreeparkpeds.com

Undergrad Institution; Degree and Major:

A.B. from Dartmouth College, Biology major modified with Chemistry

Medical School:

Emory University School of Medicine

In private practice since:

1992

Your Specialty:

Pediatrics

Where and for how many years did you train AFTER medical school:

Internship and Residency in Pediatrics at Emory

How did you choose your specialty?

I thought I wanted to go into Pediatrics at the beginning of Medical School and my experience with adult patients while in school reinforced that feeling.  So much of adult illness is self-inflicted due to lifestyle (smoking, drinking, poor eating, lack of exercise, etc.).  Pediatrics allows me to start with infants and families at the very beginning, before bad habits have formed.  Children are generally healthy and I get to follow them for their first 21 years, watching them grow and develop from newborns to confident young adults.

What do you like MOST, and like LEAST, about your specialty?

I like least that Pediatrics and other Primary Care specialties are undervalued in medicine today.  Our compensation, while good, remains a fraction of what procedure-based specialties are paid.  Pediatrics and primary care are also not looked upon as specialties that are as valuable or demanding as other fields.  What I like most is that I get to play with children all day long.  I like that I see a wide variety of ages and conditions; I can see a newborn fresh from the hospital in one room and a teenager with an eating disorder in the next.  I like that my patients usually stay healthy and I can spend my time helping parents feel confident that they can care for their children and teach them healthy habits that last a lifetime.  I like that the profession of Pediatrics has long realized the value of work-life balance for physicians, staff, parents and our patients.

In your opinion, what attributes are important in anyone choosing this specialty?

Patience.  A sense of wonder and imagination. Enthusiasm for doing the little things that make a big difference in the long run.  In Pediatrics you don’t often get to play the hero with a life-saving diagnosis or procedure; you need to get your satisfaction from the daily conversations in the exam room that help parents guide their children on the upward trajectory that most kids follow.  You are rewarded for your hard work when a young man or woman graduates from your practice and they and their parent’s thank you for the time you have invested in their family.  If you are really fortunate, they pay you the ultimate compliment of bringing their own children to you as patients.

Hobbies/special interests:

While I love my day-to-day interaction in the exam room with children and families, I realized early in my career that I wanted to also make an impact on child health on a larger scale.  I became involved in the state Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, serving in a number of roles which culminated in a 2 year term as President, representing over 1700 Pediatricians from all over the state.  I am also involved in committees for the National AAP and currently serve as Board Chair of The Children’s Care Network, a clinically-integrated network of 1200 Pediatricians from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and area Primary Care and Specialty Care practices.  I enjoy the challenges that medical organizations provide as they require very different skills than seeing patients in the office.  I have learned to understand and represent Pediatricians from different background and practice situations, to negotiate and build consensus, and to interact and advocate with Legislators and state agencies.  A favorite leisure activity is to play poker, including a trip to the World Series of Poker in 2015.