Heather Dahlquist, MD, is a pediatric hospitalist, which means she only treats patients who are staying in the hospital overnight.
“A hospitalist is like a general pediatrician, but we don’t work in an office,” explains Dr. Dahlquist. “We only see children who are in the hospital, which might be because of common issues like asthma exacerbations or pneumonia. I also take care of children before and after surgery as well.”
Dr. Dahlquist, who sees patients at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, says she was drawn to the hospitalist field because of its variety and challenges.
"I see interesting cases, some of which are a mystery. I love working with all of the different specialists in the hospital as a team to take good care of kids and figure out these complex cases,” she says.
Taking care of families is also something Dr. Dahlquist enjoys. “It’s certainly a scary experience for parents and children to come into the hospital, and it’s often not expected,” she says. “I try to reassure them that they’re in a safe place, where there is help and support.”
The best part of her job, Dr. Dahlquist says, is seeing her patients in the morning, especially when they are feeling better. “They are often running around the room or jumping on the bed or eating ice cream for breakfast, and I can tell that they are much better and ready to go home,” she says. “Plus, I love seeing the relief on a parent’s face.”
Dr. Dahlquist is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine.