Finding a Pediatrician for your child is always a top priority. If you are in the Carrollton, Texas area you should contact Hebron Pediatrics. We interviewed Board Certified Pediatrician Dr. Shen Palaniswamy, M.D., F.A.A.P. and would like to introduce her to you today.
When did you start your practice?
I started about a year ago. We officially opened in January 2017. I have been in practice for 10 years. We moved from New Jersey to Texas two years ago and I worked for a year and then decided I wanted to venture out on my own and open my own practice.
I am originally from India. I attended medical school in India and then I did my residency in New Jersey. I ended up staying there for another ten years before moving to Texas.
Can you tell us about some of your challenges or successes since opening your new practice?
I started the practice a year ago and our office is located in Carrollton. The success, I would say is a lot of satisfaction when you hear from patients that they are happy and they come in they get the time that they need. We don't schedule too many patients, so each patient receives a good amount of time with me. For example, with physicals, we will spend thirty minutes, and I can explain everything. I go over the things that they need to know, so they do not get home and realize they forgot to ask specific questions.
I want the parents to be well educated in terms of what they need to do. When chronic illness is a factor, I try to educate the parents as much as possible to in terms of lifestyle modifications that they need to do, things that they need to do work on at home. I do all of this to make the process a little easier for them rather than just managing everything with medication after medication after medication.
I try to educate my patients a lot and when I hear back from them how it changed their life and their kids' life that gives a lot of satisfaction for me so that is a big success.
The other part of owning your own practice is that I have the flexibility to help patients in need. For instance, if a patient comes in and they do not have insurance, I can decide if I am able to help them. Knowing I have control over making these decisions gives a lot of satisfaction. Thankfully God has given me that ability to help somebody and I want to utilize that in the right way. I try to help out people as much as I can and that gives a tremendous amount of satisfaction.
On the flip side of owning your own practice comes in with a lot of administrative headaches. I have to worry about the billing side like if all of the claims are getting paid, are we getting the money, I have to pay the bills, I have to pay my rent and my employees. So that it is the hard part of owning a business. But all other things I think compensate for the administrative headaches that come with it.
Also having my own business I can schedule things in a way that works. For instance, if I need to go to my kid's school to do things with them, participate in their class activities and things like that I'm able to do so. I'm able to block my time in the middle of the day to go to my daughter's class party which is fun.
Both patients and family give a good balance for me and I really love that.
What sets you apart from your competition?
I think the biggest part that sets me a part of me from my other colleagues is the ability and the willingness to set aside the time they need. When people go to doctor's offices, I hear this from a lot of other people and I've experienced it myself when I worked in other places, they’re constantly being rushed. They go to an office they get five minutes, seven minutes for a sick visit the doctor comes in, they check them out like two minutes out they'd write a prescription and they're gone. There is no education whatsoever and that's really sad, it shouldn't be that way. That is where I'm I try to do my best. I want to educate my patients. I want them to learn things and healthy habits which all starts at home. When the parents are not educated enough about healthy habits, whether it's eating or what they need to, or how much time they need to be spending on electronics, what medication they should be taking, over medicating, under medicating, all those things they need to learn. Once they get educated, their lifestyle definitely improves. I am happy to be a part of that, and I want to be a part of that. I want my patients and my parents and my community at large to be healthy and ultimately like the goal for me is even if I educate five out of all the patients that are coming here that's a big success for me. I considered that as a success.
I treat a lot of kids with ADHD. Previously I worked in an ADHD facility for a whole year. People would come in for psychiatric appointments, and they were in and out in like ten minutes. They would come in and get a prescription. They would come in every three months, they get an appointment for ten or fifteen minutes with a psychiatrist, and that is not enough in educating the parents how to deal with ADHD. So frequently what happens is, parents, get frustrated because they're getting calls from the teacher, there is nobody trying to evaluate them on a regular basis to see what is going on, or what else they can do that's not a medication that can help this child out. No one has spent that time with them. When I talk to these parents I figure out many things like the amount of time they are spending on electronics, therapy that they need, what they can do at home that is currently not being done. All of those things help them out and educate them. Many times I hear from parents things like, we didn't know about this, no one has ever told us about things like this. Even simple changes can cause a child to improve tremendously at school, and that is what sets me apart, and I want to educate my parents and help them live a better life.
What do you feel is essential to success?
I tell my parents all the time that success is not just measured by good grades or the amount of money that you have in the bank. Success is improving upon your own self, every single day if you've made a positive change in yourself, or if you make a positive change in somebody that is a success.
What is your five-year plan?
I am really big on obesity management. Childhood obesity is growing at an exponential rate. In five years my goal is I want to have two things. I want to have a separate ADHD center that can educate parents will have therapy in-house and all the group sessions to educate the parents and an obesity center. Those are my two goals.
I try to incorporate that into my everyday practice. Educating parents about healthy eating and what they could do at home from the beginning is key. Many parents overfeed their children. We see a lot of overfeeding, a lot of juice, a lot of junk food, and not enough fruits and vegetables. Those are things that I try to incorporate into my everyday teaching.
What type of advertisements do you do right now for your business?
I have a website, I have a Facebook page, and we do Google ads. Also word of mouth from our patients that are telling their friends and family.