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Home | Member Profile: Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, pediatrician at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Member Profile: Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, pediatrician at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

November 1, 2016

Sheldon

What does a typical day or week look like for you?
I work half-time in our general pediatric clinic at Children’s Minnesota, seeing patients two mornings and two afternoons a week. The other part of my time is spent as the Physician Advisor for Children’s, supporting our in-patient Case Management, Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) and Revenue Management programs.

While in clinic I see a wide variety of patients, including many patients with complex health care needs and a large number of non-English speaking immigrants. I am also involved with our hospital’s Ethics Committee – both providing consultation and education.

What’s one pediatric issue you are particularly passionate about and why?
There are actually many things I’m passionate about, including providing equitable care to everyone, providing care that is needed (rather than mandated by various agencies), and preventing gun violence.

But most important is making sure my patients are fully immunized. It is incredibly frustrating to me when families refuse to vaccinate their children for reasons that are not based in science. However, I am committed to continuing to work with these families in the hopes they will ultimately agree to the needed vaccinations.

You’re an active member of MNAAP. What benefits have you gained from your involvement?
I joined the AAP right out of residency over 30 years ago and I believe the MNAAP sometime thereafter. Supporting organizations that champion the needs of children has always been important to me and having a statewide organization that I can partner with is a plus.

Which other organizations or initiatives are you currently involved with?
I am involved with multiple initiatives at Children’s in my various roles, including racial disparity, ethics issues, advocacy issues and working to make sure that patients receive the care they need by their insurer and Children’s is appropriately reimbursed for the care we provide. Outside of Children’s, I am involved with numerous causes within the Jewish community.

What’s one thing most people are surprised to learn about you?
That I used to have a lot of hair! Also, that I love watching and helping with dog sled races (since my son was a dog sled racer/musher for almost 10 years). I spent a week in Nome, Alaska at the end of the Iditarod dog sled race one year.

What is one life lesson you’ve learned from children?
To laugh and have fun at what you do. I try to put each child at ease when I see them in the office by being playful with them. I also started wearing super hero and other types of fun socks a couple of years ago that the kids (and their parents) enjoy.

Anything else you want to add?
Pediatrics has been a great career for me and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. It fits my personality well (I could have never dressed up for Halloween as an internist!) and allows me to wear my favorite Hawaiian shirt whenever I want.

 

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