Nathaniel Beers, MD, MPA, FAAP talks about the upcoming Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting


Nathaniel Beers, MD, MPA, FAAP, discusses his presentation on the interface between behavioral health and school at the 2023 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

Good morning. Thank you so much for joining us today really appreciate it. I assume you're getting ready and looking forward to the Pediatric Academic Society's meeting, which is coming up on April 27 in Washington, DC, I know that you will be presenting there. Can you tell us a little bit about what you'll be presenting on? And why you chose the topic?

Yes, I'm very excited to be attending the meeting. Together with a number of colleagues, I will be presenting on the interface between schools and behavioral health and the opportunities that exist for pediatricians to engage in system change. And I think about those systems need to change, but also the regulatory and policy types of opportunities that exist in that space. This group is sort of specifically focused on supporting the behavioral health side of the work, but really thinking more broadly as well in that space.

Interesting. Yeah. It's hard to believe that the National Children's Mental Health Crisis was declared over two years ago. And from everything that I've heard as well, there are still behavioral health issues, with children at homes and in schools. Are you finding that as well?

I think there's definitely still a lot of behavioral health issues that are impacting kids across all of the different settings that they're in, I think we see certainly lots of patients who are having behavioral health issues at home, but also given the amount of time that children spend in the school, there's no way it can’t impact them in the school as well. And so how can we, as pediatricians, partner together with the schools to really think about how we can achieve solutions, right.

Have any sessions caught your eye, any topics that interest you that you might be sitting in on?

I think that there's a lot of really great opportunities to continue that dialogue around health equity, and and think about those spaces. So I know that there's a number of opportunities in that space, as well as the impact of racism in pediatrics, and in health care, and how we can make sure that we continue to address systemic racism in those spaces. In addition, I look forward to hearing the AAP presidential plenary session. I think there's a lot of really great topics that will be discussed there, and have the opportunity to hear from Dr. Sandy Chung and all the work that she's been doing during her year as AAP president.

I know these meetings are also a wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues that you don't see regularly and do some really positive networking, during those times, over coffee or whatever. What do you think some of the buzz will be?

Well, I think certainly behavioral health, right, it's part of the reason that we're talking about behavioral health. And it is impacting all of us in all settings, regardless of whether you are a generalist or sub specialist. I also think that there is a lot of interest in thinking about physician well-being and provider well-being and how we can support each other. And make sure that we are balancing all of the demands that we have for academic as well as providing clinical care as well as our own personal demands on our lives, including our families. And then I think the last piece is that piece around health equity, and I think that the so many people have sort of taken on this lens. I know there's a group of specialists that are really thinking about how can they think about social determinants of health and the impact on some specialty care. And I think that will be part of what people are talking about in that space and how those of us who've been in in more general pediatric spaces can support our sub specialists, colleagues as they think about how they support the full patient in front of them, and all of their social and health needs.

You've brought up some very sobering important topics health equity, physician burnout, and behavioral health and children. So I think it should be a very dynamic conference, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you for having me.

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