They’ve been on both sides of the stethoscope, and now Drs. Karen and Jack Hopkins want you to know what they’ve learned as Mercy doctors – and as parents.
The pair launched a podcast last fall and named it “Pretty Good Parents,” sponsored by Mercy Kids. The name was inspired by their own experience. Already practicing pediatricians when they had their first child, they figured they’d be perfect parents. It didn’t turn out that way.
“We quickly learned no one can be a perfect parent,” said Dr. Jack. “We’re just doing the very best that we can.”
Now, their kids are grown, and the doctors are dedicating their free time to helping parents outside the office – and even outside the Ozarks. “The idea for the podcast really started when our son left for college,” Dr. Karen said. “We would both have these moments with parents and think, ‘I wish I could share that with all my patients’ families.’ Now that our nest is empty, we had time to make that a reality.”
They began by researching what it takes to put on a podcast, and by using a microphone and some other equipment their daughter already had. The first topic: exploring a baby’s sense of sight. Right away, the two were very honest with their listeners: they had missed diagnosing their son’s eye condition. “Even as pediatricians, we missed our own child’s lazy eye,” Dr. Jack said. “We needed a provider to point that out to us. We needed help.”
Kelsey Pagel lives in the St. Louis area and is pregnant with her first child. She says a family member recommended she listen to the podcast to get a jump start on what she’ll need to know. “My husband and I have found all the information in the podcast extremely helpful, considering we’re starting from ground zero as far as parenting is concerned,” she said.
The podcasting pediatrician pair is ready for episode number 10 on Feb.7, 2021, and it’s a timely topic: Explaining Germs to Your Kids. “Due to COVID-19, so many children have questions for their parents about infection,” Dr. Jack said. “This episode will help parents explain coronavirus and other germs to their kids at their level.”
Other past topics include all your child’s senses, advice on nightmares, insight on why kids bite, and the “poop” on poop.
You can find the podcast at www.prettygoodparents.com, on Apple, Google and Amazon podcast services, Spotify, Deezer, RadioPublic and Pocket Casts. The pair puts out a new podcast every other week.
For patients in the area who would like to get help for their kids in person, Dr. Jack Hopkins practices at Mercy Clinic Pediatrics – Lebanon. Dr. Karen Hopkins practices at Mercy Clinic Internal Medicine and Pediatrics – Richland.