Practicing Pediatrics in Frisco, Texas:
An Interview with Dr. MaryEllen Cavalier
Pediatrics in Frisco: What brought you to North Texas?
I moved to Frisco in the spring of 2008–but, interestingly enough, not to open my own pediatrics practice! Instead, I was recruited by UT Southwestern to develop a pediatric hematology/oncology program in the Plano area that was located at the Children’s Medical Center Legacy Campus. It was not until I had been living in Frisco for over 6 years that I was ready to embark on this next chapter of my life and to open my own practice combining general pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology.
Pediatrics in Frisco: What does your practice offer that is unique compared to other pediatrics practices in Frisco?
Over the next few years, we can expect a lot of pediatrics practices to be opening in Frisco, due to our anticipated population boom. What sets Joy & Crown apart is my and my staff’s commitment to the “4 C’s” of Competence, Caring, Convenience, and Collegiality. For example, whether I am providing PCP or specialist care, I am bringing to patient encounters the expertise acquired from my many years as an instructor at well-regarded academic institutions, as a hospital-based clinician, and as a private practice pediatrician. By offering 30 minutes of one-on-one time with the physician, Joy & Crown allows enough time in an appointment for all the important questions to get answered, for the instructions and recommendations to be clearly presented and absolutely understood, and for even the smallest patients to feel safe, valued, and ready for life’s opportunities and challenges. We also endeavor to keep our patients’ specialty care close to home. And this is really key: we are not setting out to compete with other local pediatricians. Rather, we are complementing their services. By combining my practice of general pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology, I can provide specialized services like diagnosis and treatment of anemia, interpretation of abnormal newborn blood screens, and pre-surgical bleeding disorder clearances that area pediatricians and ENTs would otherwise refer away from Frisco.
Pediatrics in Frisco: What is the most important part of your job?
Putting patients first is far and away the most important part of my job. We frequently re-examine our office processes and procedures to ensure that patients get the most from each visit. We don’t want our families to ever feel rushed, and we want to provide a pediatrics setting that is private, soothing, and nurturing.
Pediatrics in Frisco: What are your keys to success?
Listening is critically important to a good pediatrics practice and to being a good physician in general. One of my mentors once told me, “If you are listening closely, most patients will tell you within the first 10 minutes what is causing their child’s discomfort.” Of course, loving kids is another essential–and that means being patient (no pun intended!) and letting the child get to know you on his/her own terms.
Pediatrics in Frisco: What surprises you most about your job?
Kids are full of surprises. I love how honest and unassuming children are, and the profound (and sometimes profoundly silly) things that they say and do. For example, at the end of a particularly hectic day, a 4-year-old patient cupped my face in his hands and proudly announced: “You are a . . . PEANUT!” I just can’t take myself too seriously when a child tells me I’m a “peanut!”
Pediatrics in Frisco: Tell us something most people wouldn’t know about Joy & Crown Pediatric Specialists.
One question that we are asked at least a couple times a week is, “How did you come up with the name of your practice?” We wanted a name that would appeal to our patients and would also convey to their parents that our practice is more than a business. “Joy & Crown” can suggest castles, princesses, royalty, knights and adventure. But, at the same time, “joy and crown” is how the Apostle Paul affectionately referred to the members of his faith community. Serving them was his life’s work and was also his great delight and accomplishment. “Joy & Crown” conveys that our practice is about the joy and lasting reward of serving others.