Erik Waldman, MD, wants parents to know that he understands how worrisome it can be to hear that your child needs or might benefit from surgery. Discussing those concerns and answering questions is not only an important part of his job, it’s his favorite part.
“Parents come to me to help them make important healthcare decisions for their kids,” says Dr. Waldman, who is chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Yale Medicine. “There can be a lot of anxiety and stress over even the smallest procedures with kids. I spend as much time as possible listening and explaining. Parents often tell me it makes them much less anxious both before and after their child’s procedure. It’s a huge part of why I love what I do.”
Dr. Waldman isn’t shy about sharing his own experiences as his own daughter had a partial tonsillectomy when she was 5. “She was able to eat normally the day after surgery and her sleep is much more restful since the surgery,” he says. Now Dr. Waldman is among the few pediatric otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialist) in the area who regularly performs a partial tonsillectomy, which results in less pain and a quicker recovery for appropriate patients.
“I don’t remember ever meeting a family who is unhappy about having had the surgery a month afterward, whether a full or a partial tonsillectomy,” Dr. Waldman says. “A child’s quality of life, and therefore a family’s, often improves dramatically after this type of procedure.”
Dr. Waldman treats the entire spectrum of pediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) disorders, including hearing loss, snoring, ear infections and aerodigestive problems.