By Wendy Brown (USAG Wiesbaden)May 8, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - Dr. Michelle Melicosta, a pediatrician at the Wiesbaden Health Clinic, has started a question-and-answer session each week on American Forces Network Wiesbaden called "Ask the Doctor."
During the segment, Melicosta answers medical questions parents have about their children. She has been a practicing pediatrician for 17 years and in Wiesbaden for three years.
"What we're hoping to get are questions about health or development that aren't necessarily pressing enough for people to take the time out of their day to drive to the clinic," Melicosta said.
Melicosta said she came up with the idea for the show after a mother came in for an appointment on a cold winter day with her baby because she was concerned about the baby spitting up.
The mother's concern was not anything to worry about, Melicosta said, and she thought it would be a good idea to give parents an opportunity to ask questions that bothered them in a more convenient environment. "If we can save you a trip to the clinic, that's great," she said.
Sgt. Jedhel Somera, who tapes Melicosta's show each week in the AFN studios, said he plays the segment Tuesdays and Thursdays around 7 a.m.
"It's great for first-time parents who might have questions," Somera said. "It's another channel where parents can get answers to questions."
Some recent examples of questions have included when parents should get worried about a fever and how to choose a baby formula, Melicosta said. The show she taped on April 25 discussed National Infant Immunization Week and why immunizations are important.
People can send their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, Melicosta said.
People should not send any pressing questions to the email address because she does not check it every day, Melicosta said.
Although the show focuses on pediatrics, Melicosta said she will also consult her colleagues at the clinic to answer questions about adults as well.
For medical emergencies, people should call the military ambulance at mil 117 or civ (0611) 705-117 or the German ambulance at 112. For an appointment at the clinic, people can call mil 337-6320, 6339 or civ (0611) 705-6320, 6339.