“I really like the idea of development, of how children change over time.”
As a pediatrician who specializes in behavioral development, Dr. Deborah Shipman has always loved being around children. “I could tell being a pediatrician just really suited me. I really like the idea of development, of how children change over time,” she explains. “It’s what makes my job so interesting.”
A graduate of the University of Maryland Medical School, Dr. Shipman worked as a pediatrician at Reliant Medical Group in Leominster for many years. She left her position to do a fellowship in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Floating Hospital for Children/Tufts Medical Center, before returning to Reliant Medical Group.
In her work, Dr. Shipman treats children with autism, ADHD, anxiety disorders, learning disabilities, and mental retardation. “I try to help kids early, because the earlier you treat them, the better outcome you will have. Many of the children I see will need to be treated on an ongoing basis. We have seen good results by treating children with ADHD and other problems at younger ages.”
Dr. Shipman is a big believer in using therapy to treat children. “I try to avoid medication, unless it’s really warranted. People are starting to realize that children can benefit from therapy at younger ages – even 3 or 4 years old. The other side of that is the parent therapy – parents need proper support and coaching on how to deal with the problems their child is experiencing.”
As well as good medical care, Dr. Shipman believes it’s essential to have other support systems in place including good school programs as well as services in the community. “Although as pediatricians we don’t have a lot of control over these things, they are very important to the proper development of a child.”
Dr. Shipman’s philosophy is to “always remember that parents love their children and want the very best for them.” She strives to understand the difficulties parents face in raising a child with developmental problems. “I think if you approach things that way it helps you to not make a lot of assumptions and be judgmental about parents and families.”
Born in Massachusetts, Dr. Shipman lived in different states as a child but now enjoys residing in her home state. She loves being near the ocean, mountains and the city. She also enjoys spending time with her children and two dogs, as well as gardening and refinishing old furniture.
American Board of Pediatrics
University of Maryland Medical School, Medical Education
Boston City Hospital, Internship
Boston City Hospital, Residency
Floating Hospital/Tufts Medical Center (Development/Behavioral Pediatrics, Fellowship
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