Heidi Davis, MD, is a pediatric hospitalist who cares for newborn babies while they are still in the hospital. She assesses them for any health concerns, ensures they are feeding well, answers parents’ questions, and determines whether they will need specialized care before they go home. Family pediatricians aren’t always available to make rounds at the hospital, so she provides them with newborn information that may help them treat the baby going forward.
“Some babies are a little more complicated than others, but for the most part I’m taking care of well newborns at a very special time,” Dr. Davis says. “There's a lot of talking and communicating, and it's a very joyful job.”
The biggest issue she deals with is usually feeding, she says. For instance, parents who are committed to breastfeeding don’t always realize that getting the technique down can be difficult, so she makes sure they have access to a lactation consultant. “We try to make their hopes and plans come together,” she says.
Dr. Davis practiced as a private pediatrician for 14 years before coming to Yale. She says she pursued the field after being inspired by her pediatrician. “He was really wonderful. So, when I was probably too young to be asked the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, ‘Oh, that looks like a good job.’" It stuck, she says. “The work brings rewards every day. It’s a really special time for parents and families, and whether it's their first baby or their fourth, this is a really fortunate position to be in.”