Nancy N. Fajman, MD, MPH
Undergrad Institution; Degree and Major:
BA, major in Sociology, State University College of N.Y. at New Paltz, 1972
MD, Emory University, 1991
In practice since:
Pediatrics, with a focus on child abuse. Initially after completion of the 3 year residency program I stayed on at Egleston Children's Hospital as a hospitalist. After ~ 1 year, however, I was able to devote full time to the development of a Child Protection Program to evaluate children when there were concerns for child maltreatment. I've worked as an Emory pediatrician for more than 20 years. Currently I work part-time in the Child Protection Program at Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital on the Grady campus, part-time in the Primary Care Clinic at Hughes Spalding, and part-time as a faculty mentor with the School of Medicine.
How did you choose your specialty?
Somehow Pediatrics chose me. I enjoy working with children and their families. I especially like the continuity afforded in primary care and the diversity of issues that arise. Child Abuse pediatrics was a new area to focus on when I was starting out. Many pediatricians shy away from the topic. I certainly don't like maltreatment but it's an area where pediatricians can make a significant difference in the life of a child.
What do you like MOST, and like LEAST, about your specialty?
I especially like the (potential) ability to empower children and parents to take healthy steps in their lives. So much of childhood morbidity/mortality is preventable with wise choices. What I like least is when people don't take my wise advice! In the area of Child Abuse pediatrics, I enjoy the multidisciplinary nature of the field. To be most effective you have to comfortably interact with social workers, law enforcement, the court system and the foster care system.
In your opinion, what attributes are important in anyone choosing this specialty?
You need to like children and parents. That sounds obvious but I hear of pediatricians who say they like kids but not their caregivers. I think that comes through in your encounters and you may be less effective. You need to be flexible and willing to recognize that you don't have all the answers. Being a teacher is an important asset as you're constantly interpreting for your families.
I'm a weaver. I have a loom and enjoy weaving scarves, towels, baby blankets, etc. I also like to read mysteries with detectives from other countries/cultures.