Written by Ella Davis ‘21 and Erin Clayton ‘21.
The GHF ‘21 and ‘20 cohorts recently had the pleasure of enjoying a discussion with Dr. Kenneth Tiffany, a Neonatologist in the NICU at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. His visit correlated with topics that the ‘21s are diving into. We are currently conducting interviews with mothers on pregnancy and birthing experience, as well as creating a better understanding for global maternal and infant health. Dr. Tiffany first told us about his career path to becoming a neonatologist and the many years of education that was required to become a doctor. This included a fellowship of two years working in the field of his choice – neonatology. After years of hard work, he began actually seeing patients at age 35. He also mentioned the various birth defects that he sees in his daily work, ranging from Gastroschisis to Cleft Palate. Additionally, we talked about the different physical features of these defects and how to notice them after birth: upward slanting eyes, small head, and short neck for Down Syndrome, and a smooth surface between nose and upper lip as well as an upward facing nose for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We particularly enjoyed Dr. Tiffany’s perspective on doctors’ shift hours. While many believe doctors should be given shorter shifts, he thinks this is a step in the wrong direction, for after certain amounts of time, their actions become instinctive. Without these longer hours, these instincts would be taken away, and surgeons run the risk of leaving the operating room mid-surgery, being replaced by newer (potentially less informed) doctors. Lastly, our favorite part of the presentation was when Dr. Tiffany shared his advice on preventing birth defects and prevention tips to share with the people we work with in Belize. One of these tips was preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome by educating mother’s to not drink during pregnancy. Thank You Dr.Tiffany for taking the time to help the fellows understand the work of a Neonatologist!