WASHINGTON, DC – A year-long undercover investigation into the American Academy of Pediatrics’ claim that pediatric patient management was distinct from that of adults has revealed widespread evidence to the contrary.
Faced with a crushing epidemic of ovarian cancers, post-CABG MIs, and amyloidosis, the nation’s pediatric departments began steadily consulting their internal medicine colleagues for management tips. Medicine resident William Quiroga was one of the first to blow the whistle. “At first it was just a trickle, but then I was getting slammed every time I was on consults with 5-6 requests a day from the pediatrics department. I would see the patient and give recommendations, and note that they were followed to the letter. Sometimes the peds resident would make a big show about calculating drug dosages by weight or something just to contribute, but then when I would come back I would see my original dosage was re-ordered.”
Dan Cortas, an orthopedics resident, also contributed to the investigation. “I got a page to the NICU on a 6-day old. I was expecting a skeletal dysplasia, maybe some osteogenesis imperfecta, you know, the congenital stuff they make you memorize in med school. Instead it was a intratrochanteric hip fracture from a mechanical fall.”
Cortas put the patient in traction in preparation for the OR. “In the past I would have ordered conscious sedation and it would have been a big freaking deal, with pediatric anesthesia and Child Life and a professional parental hand-holder involved. Instead, I just told the patient to ‘man up’ and performed some visualization techniques and breathing exercises, which did the trick.” It was only after he completed the procedure and was writing his consult note that Cortas found the encounter to be unusual. “I had to look it up, but I kinda remembered from my peds clerkship that they taught us neonates can’t walk. Something seemed fishy.”
Faced with these and thousands of similar incidents, pressure began mounting on the AAP to resolve the discrepancies. Eventually, the august body cracked. “I can’t keep up the charade any longer,” said Dr Anne Gopal, Chairwoman for Public Policy at the Academy. “There’s only so many pediatric emphysema cases and cirrhotic livers that you can brush under the rug.”
As to the motivation behind the fraudulent decades-long insistence that “children aren’t just little adults,” many commentators pointed to a money trail. “Think about it,” said one anonymous source. “All those donations to children’s hospitals. Residency programs training thousands of physicians annually. An entire industry making toys to attach to the ends of stethoscopes. It was a total gravy train. But not any more.”