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The Children's Center in Bethany, OK, gets new chief physiatrist

Dr. Justin Ramsey, a physiatrist who is on the staff of The Children's Center in Bethany, represents a mix between orthopedics — the branch of medicine that focuses on correcting bone and muscle deformities — and neurology, which focuses on the nerves and nervous system.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: May 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm •  Published: May 11, 2013

Editors note: Dr. Justin Ramsey no longer practices at The Children's Center. He has moved to Missouri.

Dr. Justin Ramsey tries to be aware that many children are terrified of doctors.

He doesn't own a white doctor's coat. He sits on the floor sometimes to talk to children.

Parents might think he's silly, but his approach helps children feel a sense of superiority that can help calm their nerves.

Really, Ramsey doesn't like doctors much either.

“If you were at some of our clinic visits, the kids just kind of look and start screaming because you represent the pokers and the prodders and the evil group of people that touch you and make you feel invaded and uncomfortable,” he said.

Ramsey started this year as one of the pediatric physiatrists at The Children's Center in Bethany, which offers medical services and rehabilitative to children with complex medical needs.

Ramsey, 34, understands what it's like to be a kid at a doctor's office. At 2, he was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy.

The term cerebral palsy refers to any one of a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination but don't worsen over time, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The diagnosis varies from person to person. While one child with severe cerebral palsy might be unable to walk and need extensive lifelong care, another with mild cerebral palsy might have only slight symptoms and not require special assistance, according to the institute.

For Ramsey, it means a weakened left hand and leg. Ramsey treats a lot of children with cerebral palsy, but he doesn't always bring up that he also has the disorder. The fact that he has cerebral palsy is not the driving force for why he does what he does.

“I don't want to advertise my biases in what I am, just for the need of telling them about me,” he said. “But there are families that you can tell the kid needs to hear something. More often, the parents need to hear something because the parents are mourning the loss of function or perceived function.”

Ramsey will soon serve as The Children's Center's primary pediatric physiatrist, for Dr. Ed Wright, also a pediatric physiatrist, will soon leave the center.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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