Dr. Lainie Holman is a pediatric physiatrist in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is board certified in Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She has two teenagers.
DW: Why did you want to become a doctor?
LH: At first, I was attracted to the science aspect, and the idea of being able to do something definitive to help someone. I still like those things, but after a while I began to realize that the part I dig most is the very intimate narrative that runs in the doctor-patient relationship. Everyone has a story, and everyone wants to tell it to someone who will listen. Especially to someone who is sworn to confidentiality.
DW: Have any of these stories shocked you?
LH: In the beginning, but not anymore. It’s become more amusing than shocking. I had a kid once who was chewing on a string from his mattress quilting and managed to get it tied to his tongue. And the things they put in various orifices are hilarious. After a week or so, Rice Krispies in the ear are really gross. And there was once a kid who put a plastic Aquaman in his urethra.
But some of them remain very tragic. I had a patient recently who was born with essentially only a brainstem. His heart beats and he can breathe, but he doesn’t have any real cortical function. It’s something that might have been seen on ultrasound, except that his mother is 17 and didn’t know she was pregnant until she went into premature labor.
DW: Did you realize in the beginning of your professional journey that you would be dealing with death? I know this seems like a ridiculous question, but I have to ask it.