Well Visits

During Well-Child visits, we thoroughly check your child’s general physical condition and evaluate growth and development.

At our practice, we lay a big emphasis on prevention.

Aside from height, weight, BMI index and their vital signs, we also check their vision & hearing. This is also a time that our pediatricians are looking for signs of your child’s physical & mental developmental milestones.
It is imperative that we see your child regularly to monitor their growth & development. In the first two years of life however we follow this schedule of well visits in accordance to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Within 3 days of Birth
  • 2 weeks old
  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old
  • 6 months old
  • 9 months old
  • 12 months old
  • 15 months old
  • 18 months old
  • 24 months old

After age two children should be seen annually for Well Child Visits.

Immunizations

At Preferred Medical Group, we closely follow the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics in regards to immunizations. Immunizations that are commonly given in the childhood years protect against crippling diseases such as diphtheria, measles, mumps and rubella. For your convenience, we administer all immunizations right here in our offices.

We often give immunizations simultaneously with your child’s well child check. We follow the schedule as set by the CDC and followed by the AAP.

American Academy of Pediatrics’ Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Policy
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Schedule for 0-18 years old
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf

If you are considering not vaccinating your child, please read this blog, by Dr. Chandra regarding the importance of vaccinations.

Additionally, here are a few of the most popular vaccine myths “debunked,” as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MYTH #1: Vaccines aren’t safe.

FACT: Vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety. Extensive testing is required by law before a vaccine can be licensed. Once in use, vaccines are continually monitored for safety and effectiveness. The United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history.

MYTH #2: Vaccines cause autism.

FACT: Research shows autism rates are the same in vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Twenty-three studies have tested hundreds of thousands of children and found no link between autism and vaccines. The American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine, and World Health Organization have all maintained that there is no connection between vaccines and autism.

MYTH #3: There is a lot of mercury (thimerosal) in vaccines, which is dangerous.

FACT: Extensive research has failed to show any consistent link between thimerosal in vaccines and any health condition including autism. Thimerosal was removed from all routine child vaccines in 2001. Despite the removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines, autism rates have continued to rise. This is the opposite of what would be expected if thimerosal caused autism.

MYTH #4: Combination vaccines or multiple vaccines given at the same time are dangerous.

FACT: Before combination vaccines are licensed for use, extensive studies are done to ensure safety and effectiveness. Similar studies are done before multiple vaccines are recommended to be given at the same time.

MYTH #5: We don’t need to vaccinate kids anymore for the same diseases we had as children.

FACT: Recent history continues to demonstrate that when vaccination rates dip in the population, these diseases rebound. Small pox is the only disease that has been eliminated world wide and against which we no longer need to be vaccinated. An example would be the recent measles outbreaks in New York and California. The news article can be found here, detailing how the choice not to vaccinate can lead infectious diseases to bounce back in our country.

MYTH #6: A “holistic” lifestyle will bolster our immune systems and protect us from disease.

FACT: Certainly, there are steps we can take to reduce our risk of contracting or getting seriously ill from vaccine preventable diseases, such as washing our hands and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, research has shown over and over that vaccination is by far the safest and most effective way to avoid infection with these diseases.

MYTH #7 Only young children need vaccinations.

FACT: Vaccine-preventable diseases continue to be a threat throughout our lives. Adolescents need boosters for many childhood diseases, some college age students need protection from meningitis, adults need vaccines for shingles and pneumonia, and everyone needs the flu vaccine and, especially for those around infants, the pertussis vaccine.

MYTH #8: Too many vaccines can overwhelm the immune system.

FACT: Before a vaccine is licensed, extensive studies are done to ensure that the vaccine produces an effective immune response and does not overwhelm the immune system when given alone, in combination with other vaccines, or, if necessary, in multiple doses over time. The current schedule of recommended vaccinations for all ages is perfectly safe for the vast majority of the population.

We are happy to address any concerns regarding vaccinations with parents. But, in an effort to protect all of our patients, their families, and our staff, from vaccine-preventable diseases, we cannot accept families who choose not to vaccinate their children in accordance with the AAP schedule into our practice. Additionally, we may have to recommend alternative healthcare arrangements for current patients who choose not to follow this schedule. This includes required vaccinations, as needed for public school entrance, and does not include flu or other OPTIONAL vaccines, which PMG may still highly recommend.

Sick Visits

Prevention is important, but when your child is sick, there is nothing more important than diagnosing and treating that illness. That is why we never turn away a sick child.

  • PMG offers same day sick visits six days a week. We simply ask that you give us a phone call first, and we will work you into our schedule Monday – Saturday.
  • Our nurses are always available over the phone to discuss symptoms and to determine if an appointment is needed. A nurse may first triage your child’s symptoms if it is late in the day to determine if a same day appointment is needed or if the illness can wait until morning. Please know that we have been known to stay well past business hours.
  • Our pediatricians do not like to call out a medication without assessing the child. This is in the best interest of your child because what might look like a cough and cold might actually be a pneumonia or asthma. These conditions might be missed if the doctor does not physically evaluate your child, so please understand that meds will not be called out over the phone. We ask that you keep this in mind when using our after-hours call
  • Please bring the physical bottles for any medication your child is taking to all appointments. This includes asthma and ADHD follow ups.

All patients can take advantage of our Saturday hours at the Phenix City Children’s office. Every Saturday, the Phenix City office is open 9-1 for sick visits only.

Asthma

Asthma in Children (and Adults)
Asthma is one of the most commonly encountered pediatric conditions. However, it can be a life-threatening condition, so symptoms should not be taken lightly. The physicians at Preferred Medical Group have significant training and expertise with managing asthma in children. We are here to help you and your child!
What is asthma?

Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the lung, accompanied by bronchoconstriction(narrowing of the airways ).This leads to difficulty in getting the air out of the lungs and when air passes through the narrow airways, a wheezing sound can be heard.

What are the commonly encountered symptoms of asthma ?
Wheezing, Coughing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness.

At what ages is it common?
Asthma is generally diagnosed by age 5 years of age. Asthma in children can be diagnosed earlier based on symptoms and risk factors such as positive family history of asthma, personal history of allergies and eczema, prematurity, chronic lung disease, and RSV bronchiolitis.

What causes asthma?
Asthma is commonly seen in patients with an underlying airway hyper reactivity. Common triggers could be an upper respiratory infection, allergies, active/passive smoking, food allergens, dust mites, molds, cockroaches. Any trigger can bring about an asthma exacerbation. Symptoms can be triggered by exercise for asthma in children.

How to treat asthma?
At Preferred Medical Group, we are able to help your child manage his/her asthma so that symptoms to do not detract from sports, academic performance or daily activities. Asthma management depends upon its onset and severity. Acute asthma exacerbation is treated with steroids and albuterol. If your child is given the albuterol inhaler, it is important to ensure that he/she always keeps it close by in case of an asthma exacerbation episode.
Chronic asthma in children is treated with inhaled steroids and long acting bronchodilators and other agents as necessary along with avoidance of triggers whenever possible. We manage an acute asthma exacerbation and also prevent further asthma attacks by following the current American Academy of Pediatrics/ National Institute of Health guidelines for asthma management.

Procedures

PMG believes in providing comprehensive medical services for families. We will never send you away if we can treat you in one of our offices, saving you a trip to the hospital or other medical facility. Therefore, we often perform small procedures in-house including:

  • Suturing
  • Spirometry
  • Casting for fractures
  • Incision and drainage for abscesses
  • Excision of ingrown toenail
  • Ankyloglossia (tongue tie) surgery
  • Tympanometry (Ear Wax Removal)
  • Circumcision
  • Wart Removal

Newborn Care & Hospitals We Visit

Our pediatricians are dedicated to providing new parents and their babies care from the very beginning. That’s why they have full privileges at the following hospitals:
Piedmont Columbus Regional
710 Center Street
Columbus, GA 31904
(706) 571-1000
www.columbusregional.com

Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital
401 River Chase Drive
Phenix City, AL 36867
(334) 732-3000
www.hughston.com/Jack-Hughston-Memorial-Hospital-Home.aspx

St. Francis Hospital
2122 Manchester Expressway
St Francis
Columbus, GA 31904
(706) 596-4000
https://www.facebook.com/wecareforlife

Our physicians’ round at the hospitals every morning to meet the baby for the very first time and provide newborn care. New mommies that have questions about anything from sleeping habits, eating habits to bonding with their babies can ask our knowledgeable physicians for assistance right in the hospital!