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Pediatrics a 'Good Fit' for Dr. Sussman

Dr. Stephanie SussmanFor Dr. Stephanie Sussman, pediatrics seemed to be just what she was looking for as a career. And why not? Her mother was a teacher and therefore worked with children, and Dr. Sussman thought that was something she would like to do as well. "And then later on in school I became interested in science," she said, "and began to think about a career in medicine, so I thought pediatrics would be a good fit."

She continued, "I think kids are fun to work with, they're very optimistic, they always have something funny to say, and in terms of medicine, usually there's a lot we can do to make them better if they are sick." After earning her M.D. at State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and completing her pediatric residency at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Dr. Sussman joined Dr. Gary Smith at Waterdam Pediatrics, in association with The Washington Hospital. Dr. Smith and Dr. Sussman treat patients from birth through college.

With an age range that wide, the visits encompass a variety of care, and Dr. Sussman said she handles everything from preventive medicine to sports injuries. "So far, a lot of what we do is preventive medicine and anticipatory guidance, urging families to get their vaccines to keep their kids healthy, to prevent illness. Unfortunately, another big topic in pediatrics is the obesity epidemic, so we try to find a healthy weight, a healthy diet, exercise, and really promote a healthy lifestyle, because we hope to make the impact while they're still young and have them develop healthy habits when they grow up.



Dr. Stephanie Sussman, who recently joined Waterdam Pediatrics, was born in Philadelphia. She moved to upstate New York with her parents but decided to attend the University of Pittsburgh when it was time for college. "That's where I met my husband, Jake. Jake is from Bethlehem, Pa., but we both like this area; so I went to medical school away from here, but when it was time to choose a residency, we both liked Pittsburgh and decided to come back. "This opportunity was available and I met with Dr. (Gary) Smith. He has such a wonderful reputation as a physician in the community and he was looking for help, and it just seemed like a good fit."


"And now at this time of year, we're unfortunately starting to see a lot of kids with sports-related injuries—fractures, sprains, concussions—so we're involved with taking care of them."

Dr. Sussman enjoys working with her patients. "A lot of the families I've met have been so receptive and welcoming and excited to have another physician here, so it's been really great. It's a small practice, and a lot of the families like that because the physicians get to know their children really well."

Dr. Sussman said one of the things she particularly enjoys is the range of work she is involved with. "In the morning you're seeing a newborn and providing a lot of guidance and information to the parents, and then in the afternoon you're seeing a teenager and giving advice to them in terms of doing well in school and thinking about college and future plans. So it provides a nice variety in the day. I'm really enjoying it."

Yes, it sounds as if pediatrics is the perfect fit for Dr. Sussman.

For more information, call 724-942-6499 or visit www.washingtonphysicians.org

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