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Amitha Kalaichandran

Pediatrics Resident Physician, Global Health Epidemiologist, Munk Global Journalism Fellow

Amitha Kalaichandran is a Pediatrics Resident physician with an interest in integrative pediatrics, focusing on nutrition and mind-body medicine and specifically innovative ways of improving children's well-being. She has an interest in global health issues and the intersection of the arts, medicine, social change, and health innovation, and is a Munk Global Journalism Fellow. She obtained her medical degree at the University of Toronto and her Masters in Global Disease Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Amitha recently completed her 200-hour registered yoga teacher training and has published her writing in Ars Medica and the Elephant Journal. Twitter: @dramithak
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How Did Journalists Fail To Diagnose A Trump Win?

The first common bias that affects journalists is availability bias: the tendency to judge the likelihood of an outcome (a disease or an election) based on what most easily comes to mind. So, for instance, Obama's historical win over the last two elections might be fresh in a young journalist's mind. So too can the diagnosis of asthma in a child -- if the physician previously saw eight cases of the same.
11/21/2016 06:49 EST
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Suicide Among Physicians Is A Public Health Crisis

Researchers estimate we lose more than 400 doctors per year in the U.S. to suicide (an entire med school) and 150 med students yearly. We're a highly regulated profession. Doctors are tracked endlessly and publicly shamed if we veer off course in any way, and if we die by suicide, suddenly it's like we never existed.
03/24/2016 05:38 EDT
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There's No Excuse For Treating Patients According To Race

Race medicine promotes the false belief not only that human beings are naturally divided into races but also that racial inequality is caused by innate racial differences we must accept rather than social inequities we must change. Race is not a biological category that produces health disparities because of genetic differences, but racism has negative biological effects on people's bodies.
02/16/2016 09:20 EST
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7 Things to Know About the Children Affected By the Syrian Refugee Crisis

One of the remarkable characteristics of children is that they remind us of our shared humanity. Children also possess an innate power, through their very existence alone, to incite compassion in even the most hardened of hearts. Perhaps that was the purpose behind yesterdays publication of the photograph of a young Syrian boy named Aylan, whose lifeless body had washed ashore while on a treacherous voyage to Greece. Aylan's photo transcended the statistics we are often presented with. But it is far too easy to become lost in the daily reportage and statistics, and as such overlook the core issues facing the crisis.
09/03/2015 12:16 EDT
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Four Summer Book Ideas for Kids

ummer is a great time for reading. In fact, encouraging child literacy is a very key part of healthy child development. We also know that reading is a great option to avoid excessive screen time; children under the age of two should have no screen time at all, and limited amounts as they get older.
07/04/2015 10:47 EDT
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7 Tips for a Safe and Kid-friendly Summer

Summer is the season where accidents, particularly in children, are more frequent. Many of these accidents can be prevented and a number of pediatric advocacy groups and children's hospitals have created information around prevention strategies.
06/18/2015 01:05 EDT
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Apple Needs to Digitize the Medical World With Caution

Over the last year, more and more physicians and researchers have become involved in mobile health -- or simply "mHealth" technologies -- seeing possible benefits for their patients. The fact that by this year over 90 per cent of individuals will own a smartphone, means that apps could lead to real, measurable health impacts. In turn, big players in Silicon Valley -- Apple and Google for instance -- realize they need to create sustainable partnerships with the medical community should they wish to make a significant step into the health arena.
03/11/2015 12:54 EDT
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Our Last "Shot" at Solving the Anti-Vaccine Dilemma

A few months ago I described three major epidemics around child health in Canada today, when there are in fact four. I failed to mention the equally important epidemic of misinformation, which has been described well here and while this is certainly applicable to the issue of vaccine hesitancy, it doesn't describe the entire picture.
02/26/2015 05:40 EST
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An Innovative Opportunity Coming From the Measles Outbreak

The current measles outbreak has provided an innovative opportunity for physicians (along with support from others) to better engage parents in a way that just might make a difference. My intention is to shed light on the sliver of opportunity inherent in the outbreak -- the seed of a possible paradigm shift -- that many vaccine advocates (particularly physicians) keep missing.
02/25/2015 05:45 EST
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How Mobile Technology Is Changing Canadian Health Care

When it comes to healthcare, where much of what trainees learn in medical school is decades behind current practice, the time is ripe to apply principles of innovation -- both in ideas and action, to improve healthcare and health management for all Canadians. In particular, mobile health technology, or simple "mhealth" has the potential to get rid of silos so typical of modern-day academic medicine, and leverage expertise from the business and technology world.
02/02/2015 12:26 EST
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How To 'Get Engaged' in 2015

Make 2015 the year where you make the effort to engage with each other -- even strangers. It doesn't mean you have to talk to every stranger you meet, but at least keep your eyes and ears open to what you might learn and experience. It could be something small such as making eye contact with others when you walk down the street.
01/23/2015 05:27 EST
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Homelessness Is Not a Choice, So Lose the Apathy

We know the dangers of having too many choices -- but what about not having any? Who in their "right mind" (you might wonder how many of "those" people are mentally sound and might be surprised to know the vast majority are) would sleep on a bench in "last seasons" (off-trend or simply off-prudence) clothes in freezing cold weather?
01/07/2015 09:00 EST
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Stop Ebola From Wreaking Havoc on Children's Lives

The Ebola epidemic is far from over. At this time children are severely affected both by the disease itself and the other sequelae that tragedies such as infectious disease and war leave behind. These children are in need of not just a biomedical approach to Ebola but a "whole-child" approach that addresses other issues that affect child wellbeing.
12/08/2014 12:17 EST
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Canada's Medical System Needs to Better Integrate Aboriginal Patients

The medical community and many others were rocked after the ruling that an 11-year old girl from Six Nations named "J.J." was not in "need of protection" from her parents who had opted out of continuing very efficacious chemotherapy for her cancer treatment. This ruling sets an unfortunate precedent by encouraging a two-tier system of medical care for aboriginal children, who already have poor access to the social determinants of health.
11/27/2014 05:51 EST

Why I Write: My Anti-Biography

At the beginning of a recent meeting, 10 of us who sat around a table were asked a question: "Can you share a bit about yourself?" We each spoke about our work, citing titles and academic experience,...
11/19/2014 12:44 EST