Practice: Village Pediatric Group
Hospital: White Plains Hospital
Long before Florencia Braier, MD, was one of Westchester’s most respected pediatricians, she cut her teeth working in the largest pediatric hospital in Argentina, where she had a chance to work in a variety of conditions, with a diverse patient base. And during that time, Braier briefly worked in one of the shantytowns where she learned, first-hand, how rewarding it is to help kids living in a deep state of need.
The Canadian born doctor, who was raised in Argentina, remembers the first four months she spent in the field as being both rewarding and devastating. “When I graduated medical school in Argentina in the early 90s, I saw kids die of diseases that we barely see anymore thanks to modern vaccinations.”
Two decades later and a continent away, Braier remains a vocal advocate for the use of vaccines while still remaining respectful to her patients’ parents and their individual beliefs.
“As a pediatrician and as a mom, I trust and care about parents’ instincts and beliefs,” she says. “I respect and cherish diversity in every aspect of the families I treat. My mission is to help families raise their children into healthy adults.”
What medical advancements are you most excited about?
When I graduated from medical school, I saw epidemics of measles and mumps several times, and I saw kids die of diseases like haemophilus and pneumococcal meningitis. Vaccines save lives, and they changed the way we practice pediatrics.
Looking into the future, I believe immunology is a field in which we will find solutions to a lot of medical and environmental problems. For example, through special vaccines, we will soon be able to stimulate the immune system to kill cancerous cells.
What’s the biggest health problem you see among your patients?
Obesity is rampant and it’s very hard to control. My advice to parents battling obesity for themselves and their kids is to cook your meals at home as much as you can. Avoid exposing infants and young kids to sugary drinks and foods. Choose healthy snacks, minimize snacking, and exercise. Parents, you are the example.
What is the hardest part of working with kids?
It is very difficult to keep an “emotional distance” from them because I see them grow, get to know their families. I see my patients and I think about my own kids.