Local Mother, Daughter Team Up For Pediatric Care | News, Sports, Jobs

Pictured are Dr. Lynn Dunham and her daughter, Sarah Gibson, a third-year medical student. Gibson had the opportunity to learn from her mother at Jamestown Pediatric Associates in July. Submitted photo

dr. Lynn Dunham and her daughter had a special bonding time this summer while caring for the youngest patients.

Sarah Gibson had the opportunity to shadow her mother, Dr. Dunham, through an elective clinical rotation at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. A third-year medical student, Gibson seized the opportunity to learn from her mother at Jamestown Pediatric Associates in July.

“She had an elective month she could choose to leave, which she thought would be home anyway,” Dunham said. “So, she thought, ‘Well, who cares, maybe I could spend a month doing a pediatric elective with (me). She got permission from her school to do it here and she spent four weeks with us. by at Jamestown Pediatrics.”

Dunham has been with Jamestown Pediatrics since 2002 and is from Jamestown graduating from Jamestown High School. Her daughter also graduated from Jamestown High School and followed in her mother’s footsteps in more than just medicine.

Jamestown Pediatric Associates is located at 816 Fairmount Ave. and offers various medical services for children of all ages.

Dunham said she and her daughter had a wonderful time working together while looking after pediatric patients. She’s always had a great relationship with her daughter, but it was interesting to throw the teacher role into the mix.

“Usually, with parenting, I think it’s hard to be the teacher for your child. I give credit to all these parents who have had to educate their children over the past year,” Dunham said. “It’s different now that she’s grown up. She came up with questions that I had most of the answers to and some of which I didn’t. That’s one of the reasons I like working with medical students, because I think they challenge us, even doctors who have been working for 20-25 years.”

She said it was an amazing experience to see her daughter in her element, learning and growing in the medical field right before her eyes. Dunham said she wasn’t sure if her daughter would go into pediatrics, but it’s an interest of hers, in addition to women’s health.

During the rotation, Dunham said they involved doing a patient history and physical exam, as well as abnormal and normal development in pediatrics.

“There was a lot of that with all the newborn visits to infants and toddlers, then teens,” she said.

Dunham said it was nice to see her daughter back in her hometown, enjoying what the area has to offer. She said many young people want to move and may not know what they are missing. However, her daughter has come to appreciate her hometown and may have plans to return after becoming a doctor.

“I think one of the things she really enjoyed was being back in Jamestown,” she said. “I think a lot of our kids who graduate from the local schools – a lot of them go away and don’t think there’s much to come back to. But I think she actually feels the opposite. There’s a lot of opportunity here and there’s is a lot to give back to.”

Dunham said her daughter has always been interested in giving back in general, having done mission trips and other volunteer work, but she is also aware of the need in Chautauqua County, especially for medical care.

Gibson said she enjoyed learning from her mom during the rotation because it provided a level of comfort she wouldn’t have had otherwise. She also said it was made even more special because her mother had just been treated for breast cancer over the winter. The opportunity gave the couple a chance to bond their shared interest in the medical field and spend time together that they might not have had otherwise.

“I had a great time learning and working with my mom,” Gibson said. “She was a great teacher and I felt comfortable asking questions.”

She said she could work in primary care while at Jamestown Pediatrics, even if other doctors were involved.

“If they saw something that is less common, other doctors would call me to their rooms to see it,” Gibson said.

She said it was good to see the relationship her mother had built with her pediatric patients and their families. It was clear that there was mutual respect and compassion for each other, and she hopes to have a similar relationship with her patients when she goes into the practice.

Asked if she plans to return to Chautauqua County, Gibson said she hasn’t decided yet. She said she would like to travel, but has not completely closed the door to the area.

“I absolutely love the area, and all it has to offer,” she said. “I’ll probably come back to the area eventually.”

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