American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations have substantial health inequities, and most of their disease entities begin in childhood. In addition, AI/AN children and adolescents have excessive disease rates compared with the general pediatric population. Because of this, providers of pediatric care are in a unique position not only to attenuate disease incidence during childhood but also to improve the health status of this special population as a whole. This policy statement examines the inequitable disease burden observed in AI/AN youth, with a focus on toxic stress, mental health, and issues related to suicide and substance use disorder, risk of and exposure to injury and violence in childhood, obesity and obesity-related cardiovascular risk factors and disease, foster care, and the intersection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and Two-Spirit and AI/AN youth. Opportunities for advocacy in policy making also are presented.
Increasing use of social media by patients and clinicians creates opportunities as well as dilemmas for pediatricians, who must recognize the inherent ethical and legal complexity of these communication platforms and maintain professionalism in all contexts. Social media can be a useful tool in the practice of medicine by educating both physicians and patients, expanding access to health care, identifying high-risk behaviors, contributing to research, promoting networking and online support, enhancing advocacy, and nurturing professional compassion. At the same time, there are confidentiality, privacy, professionalism, and boundary issues that need to be considered whenever potential interactions occur between physicians and patients via social media. This clinical report is designed to assist pediatricians in identifying and navigating ethical issues to harness the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls of social media.