A Doctor Who Makes House Calls

Alana Folen
Wednesday - September 29, 2010
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Dr. Debbie WagnildNojima

The concept for Dr. Mom, Dr. Debbie WagnildNojima’s new urgent-care house-call practice, began when one of her own children got sick.

“My 6-year-old son Parker woke up with horrible ear pain at about 11 p.m., and his pediatrician’s office was closed,” Nojima explains. “Luckily, I had a pocket oto-scope and was able to diagnose the ear infection and get antibiotics, and maybe more importantly pain medication.

“My husband Craig remarked, ‘Good thing you were here or else I’d be sitting in the ER with two kids all night!‘That’s what started the idea.”

Nojima graduated from Punahou School in 1987 and went on to complete her undergraduate studies and obtain her degree in medicine from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. From there she did a three-year residency in pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston before returning to Hawaii to practice medicine.

In addition to fulfilling her duties as Dr. Mom, Nojima works in the Mother/Baby unit at Castle Medical Center, while also working once a week in the Birth Center and at Dr. John Nagamine’s office practice.

“Dr. Mom is like any other office-based practice. You may call me at any hour of the day or night if you would like a house call,” the Kaneohe resident says. “I am happy to see children of any age, but if they are younger than 6 weeks I will screen them very carefully and have a very low threshold for recommending a visit to the emergency room. I do have occasional periods when I may be unable to attend a visit immediately, but I will usually discuss a case with the concerned parent to see if they can wait for me to come or if they need to go to an emergency department right away. It is very important to understand that a Dr.

Mom visit doesn’t replace your primary care physician - Dr. Mom is an added service to what is already available to most patients,” Nojima explains, adding that she also subscribes to an electronic health record service that’s able to fax or e-mail a visit note to a patient’s primary care doctor within hours of a completed visit for necessary follow-up.

“Not only do I prescribe needed medications, I carry common over-the-counter medications that parents may purchase from me at a cost. I’m also able to provide inhalation treatments, office-based lab testing and a few injectables, if needed.”

Dr. Mom Hawaii will be a featured guest at the Oh Baby! Family Expo Oct. 9 and 10 at Neal Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall. Nojima will provide a brief talk at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, discussing the most common things pediatricians are called for.

“My mission for Dr. Mom Hawaii is to provide information and confident knowledge to all the families I encounter,” Nojima says.

For more information , call 258-1287 or visit drmomhawaii.com.

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