Mother and Leading Pediatric Psychologist Pen First-of-its-Kind Book

Book aimed at equipping parents to support their children through medical trauma and anxiety
By: Afraid of the Doctor
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Aug. 9, 2021 - PRLog -- Being heralded as a 'groundbreaking guide for families facing medical challenges,' the new book, Afraid of the Doctor: Every Parent's Guide to Preventing and Managing Medical Trauma, is the product of two mothers who have both experienced – and become experts on – childhood medical trauma in vastly different ways.

Endorsed by the Child Neurology Foundation, Afraid of the Doctor is the first book written for parents with the primary goal of equipping them with the knowledge and skills to support their children through medical challenges, and specifically with medical trauma and anxiety. Medical trauma describes the emotional and physical responses to pain, injury, serious illness, medical procedures, and frightening treatment experiences.

Melissa Hogan, J.D., is the mother of three, whose youngest son was diagnosed with Hunter syndrome as a toddler. She has spent the last decade navigating difficult medical appointments, researching, blogging and becoming an expert on rare diseases such as the one affecting her son. She was among a group of parents who founded Project Alive (

Meghan Marsac, Ph.D., is a pediatric psychologist and a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky and Kentucky Children's Hospital. She is a leader in the field of pediatric medical trauma, having published more than 60 academic articles on the topic & founding the Cellie Coping Company ( Her primary professional goal is to improve the experience of living with medical conditions for children and families.

"When my child was first diagnosed, I found very few tools and no books for parents. I felt very alone," Hogan said. "This is the book I wish I'd had. It has the information and the tools I needed to help my child. I was so excited to reach out to Meghan and bring together the perspectives of both a parent and a psychologist to help families."

When parents understand medical trauma and learn strategies to reduce and even prevent it, they become empowered to better care for their child's emotional and physical health. The book could not be timelier considering the COVID-19 pandemic and the medical fears it is causing in both children and parents. After more than a year of lockdowns, virtual learning, mask wearing and social distancing, some children may have a traumatic experience adjusting back to "normal."

"We wanted to be able to give the kids and the families I work with every day the resources to help them manage their medical experience and walk their physical health journey and their mental health journey together," Marsac said. "One of my primary goals is to make medical care better for kids and families, so that's why we came together and wrote this book."

Barbara Esteves-Moore
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