During this video interview, Dr. Jay Mehta talks about his approach to explaining such complex medical conditions and treatments to his pediatric patients and their families.
Explaining rheumatologic laboratory results to a patient, or to parents, can be challenging. Jay Meta, MD, MSEd, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, shared a presentation at the American Academy of Pediatrics conference on the topic, Red Flag or Red Herring: Rheumatologic Lab Evaluation of Musculoskeletal Pain.
In his presentation, Mehta explained the importance of understanding the nuances of rheumatologic lab results. This includes differentiating between a red flag, or something that should raise concern for a pediatrician, versus a red herring, or something that may seem abnormal but isn’t actually cause for concern.
Being able to confidently interpret lab results will help pediatricians be able to confidently refer their patients to a rheumatologist when needed. Mehta used multiple patient examples that pediatricians are commonly presented with to show how utilizing different testing options can be important for proper screening.
In the video interview, he took it a step further and discussed how he explains such complex results to pediatric patients and their families. When initially breaking the news to a patient, less is more, he said.
The focus isn’t on the terminology, the focus is on identifying whatever is most important to the patient in that moment, according to Mehta.