• Jeanette Callahan, MD

    I am a primary care physician at Cambridge Pediatrics at the Cambridge Hospital campus and our sister Broadway Health Center site in Somerville.

    I enrolled in Medical School 15 years after graduating from college.  Prior to that I got married, had 4 children, and home schooled them during their formative years until grade 3.  During this time, I came to appreciate how influential young children are, and how important it was to establish healthy patterns of living before age 6.  I also grew to appreciate how difficult it was to do the same for adults.  I chose Pediatrics because I believed that I could make a lasting impression in the world by investing my time and energy in the health and wellbeing of children.

    Children are incredibly honest and frighteningly vulnerable.  They have a way of mirroring your ways for better or for worse.  When I sit with a child, I take the time to talk directly to them about what they need from me as their doctor.  I start doing this from day one!  Then, little by little, they develop a trust and by about 2-3 years, when I walk into the room, they start to show me their “booboos” and take hold of my stethoscope, placing it on their chest!  The most gratifying thing about working with children is seeing them grow up and pattern some of my behavior.  It is a reminder that my life’s work has the potential to move a generation closer to the right track towards wellness.  There is nothing like it in the world!

    Outside of work I love to be in my vegetable and flower garden during the spring and summer.  It is one of my more relaxing hobbies. My other activities are more demanding, but equally gratifying.  I am a political activist and champion for social justice in organizations such as the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, where I work to ensure public access to quality health care and more recently, pushing for legislation to control rising health care costs.  I am on the safety committee of Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, which provides an outdoor classroom for environmental studies for the Boston Public School system. I am also an advisory board member of Emthonjeni - Fountain of Life HIV/AIDS Care Center in South Africa, providing medical, nutritional and educational support to widows, orphans and others. I continue to be involved in international medicine particularly in West and South Africa, providing acute and primary care during short-term medical missionary trips.

    I have received a number of awards for my work including: America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals; Cambridge-Somerville Resident Teaching Award; Harvard Medical School Dean’s Community Service Award; Primary Care Scholarship Award; Ebert Award for New Initiatives-Teen Parenting and Pregnancy Prevention.

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