As a young girl, Annette Cameron, MD, would accompany her Spanish-speaking grandmother to medical appointments and serve as translator.
“I wondered why there weren’t any doctors who spoke Spanish,” says Dr. Cameron, now a pediatrician. “So around 7, I knew I wanted to be a doctor, and my specialty came naturally because I always gravitated to other children.”
Now a mother of four herself, Dr. Cameron sees patients at Chapel Street Pediatrics in Hamden and at the Yale New Haven Hospital Primary Care Center in New Haven. “I enjoy the variety of patients I see, as well as the continuity of care I have with many families. I take care of entire families and some kids I once took care of have now had their own children,” she says.
No matter the age, Dr. Cameron says her first priority is to make a child comfortable. “Most of the time, for younger kids, I try to approach them in their parents’ lap and might even do the entire exam there,” she says. “Or if they bring a stuffed animal or doll, I’ll do an exam on them first.”
She also strives to make connections with her patients. “I see a lot of kids with asthma, which I have myself, so I am familiar with the symptoms and how to manage it,” she says. “I also love teenagers. I tend to get a lot of complicated teens, but they trust me and tell me things. It’s hard, but rewarding.”
Plus, her language skills continue to pay off. “It’s always nice when I walk in the room and see the relief on parents’ faces when I can speak to them in their own language,” she says. “A lot is lost in translation.”