Meet the physicians at Pediatric Alliance!

Deborah Rotenstein, M.D. – Pediatric Alliance — Pediatric Endocrinology Division  (10 years)

Birthplace:  Brooklyn, N.Y.

Education:  Flushing High School/ University of Rochester/ University of Pittsburgh Medical School.

Training:  Pediatric Residency at Emory University/ Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Hospital Affiliations/Teaching:  Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Allegheny General Hospital, West Penn Hospital, UPMC Mercy.

Professional Interests:  I truly enjoy watching children grow — many of my publications are in the area of growth hormone treatmentI was the first physician to treat children with Spina Bifida with growth hormone and many of my papers and presentations in the US and Europe are in that area.

My Inspiration:  My decision to become a physician happened at age 12, inspired by the fictional character Dr. Zhivago who was both a physician and poet. I loved to write and thought of myself as a poet then.  I was feature editor of my high school newspaper and also wrote features for my college newspaper, the “Campus Times”. Oddly, I was also the Rochester correspondent for “India Abroad”!  I started a newspaper in medical school at Pitt called “Murmurs” which is still published today.  I have recently expanded to writing children’s books, one of which is on early puberty in girls.

My Hero:  My patients have always been my best teachers.  As an endocrinologist, I take care of children with chronic diseases.  The courage and tribulations of these children and their families are hard to describe.  Some of these children have become my heroes and they have taught me never to assume that one’s good health is a right, but rather, a gift.

School Memories or Stories:  My original intent in pediatrics was to become a geneticist.  It was one of my two majors in college and I did research all through college and in the summers.  While in medical school I could not get the genetics department to give me lab space. I wanted to do research and so the Dean suggested I meet with Dr. Kenny, who was the first pediatric endocrinologist in Pittsburgh.  I met his fellows and essentially fell in love with the discipline. During one summer, I studied pediatrics in England, which was really a new set of ideas and skills and gave me an appreciation of the fact that there really are multiple ways to approach the same problem.

Funniest Thing A Patient Has Said:  “Can I bring Dr. Rotenstein to school for Show and Tell?”  (I went!)

What Parents Can Do To Improve Their Child’s Health:  Decrease the sugars and simple carbs in their child’s diet, and, exercise daily!

Favorite Patient Age:  Teenagers.  They are a challenge but so very rewarding and interesting. 

Hobbies:  I play guitar and piano.  I really enjoy painting, cooking, and gardening.  I am an avid reader of fiction and I also like ballroom dancing, the theater, and the opera. My husband and I have always been interested in photography and at one time we had our own darkroom!

Dogs or Cats:  I am a dog person.  I’m allergic to cats.

PC or Mac:  PC

Playing On My iPod:  Beethoven’s Seventh!

Favorite Vacation Spot:  My husband and I love to travel.  We like to vacation at the beach (need lots of sunscreen!).   I have also traveled to many countries because of my past research and have been blessed with many friends in many countries. I also have had patients from different countries. Currently my patient who travels the furthest to see me is from Angola, Africa!

Favorite Food:  Chocolate

Always In The Fridge:  A week’s worth of food I can get to the table in less than 10 minutes.

What People Don’t Know:  The first time I came to Pittsburgh was in college, unrelated to medicine- it was to sing!