An interview with Dr. Karen Beckman
Dr. Karen Beckman founded Riverside Pediatrics in 2006 and Riverside Pediatrics After Hours in 2011. She has been a practicing pediatrician in the area since 2000. She lives in Riverside with her husband and two boys. Dr. Beckman has been voted “Top Doctor” by Castle Connolly (2013-2018), Greenwich Magazine, New York Magazine and the New York Times. She has appeared as a consultant in local news segments on children’s health as well as in the Greenwich Time. She has given educational talks at multiple schools in Greenwich. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and has full privileges at both Greenwich Hospital and Stamford Hospital.
GM: What made you decide to open your own practice back in 2006?
Dr. KB: I had been practicing for about 5 years at the time and had been observing what made parents unhappy in the pediatric office. I decided to open a practice that would resolve many of the issues I was seeing. Rather than see a different doctor every visit, my patients can chose who they see which allows for better continuity of care. We have not only separate sick and well waiting areas, but also sick and well exam rooms, to prevent children from getting exposed to illness when they come in for well visits. We offer 30 minute well visits so that parents don’t feel rushed. This also dramatically reduces our wait times, since we are less likely to run behind when we have more time allotted for each patient. We always have a friendly, helpful person answering the phone during business hours, rather than a frustrating phone triage system. Our office is clean, new and pretty, so that our patients feel comfortable.
GM: What else makes your practice different from other pediatric practices in the area?
Dr. KB: We have the most highly trained staff for every position. Patients see a board-certified pediatrician for every visit. All of our nurses have an R.N. degree. Both of these things are unusual these days. We have an in-house pharmacy so that patients can avoid a trip to the pharmacy. We have vision screening for infants and toddlers that identifies vision problems very early on for better treatment. We draw blood in the office so that patients don’t have to go to the lab for bloodwork. We also offer environmental and food allergy testing as well as immunotherapy, right in our office for faster identification of allergies and better coordination of care. We have the most convenient hours of any practice in the area, offering evenings, weekends and holidays staffed by board-certified pediatricians and pediatric Registered nurses.
GM: I’ve heard about that! Riverside Pediatrics After Hours! Tell me more about how that started.
Dr. KB: We noticed that pediatric patients were going to the Emergency Room for non-emergent pediatric problems at night, on the weekends and during holidays while our office was closed. We heard from patients that the E.R. visits are very expensive and also have a long wait. Many times children don’t get to see a pediatrician for their problem. Therefore, in 2011, we opened Riverside Pediatrics After Hours. Since that time, we have been open 365 days a year! We are open to all children in the community, even those who do not come to our daytime practice. We see patients for sick visits, rashes, we close most wounds, treat allergic reactions, etc. Parents love this service not only for when their kids get sick all of the sudden during off hours, but also when their schedules are busy. Parents’ work schedules and kids’ after school activities, can make getting to the doctor a challenge.
GM: And you pierce ears?
Dr. KB: Yes! That’s right. I really enjoy it. It is one of the most fun things I do because the kids are really excited to get their ears pierced. I love being part of that milestone.
GM: What ages do you pierce ears?
Dr. KB: All ages! My youngest ear-piercing patient was 3 weeks old and my oldest was 78!
GM: Wow, it sounds like you offer a lot at Riverside Pediatrics. What is your overall philosophy on pediatric care?
Dr. KB: Our philosophy is to give superior comprehensive pediatric care in the most convenient and comfortable setting for patients and their parents.
An interview with Dr. Karen Beckman