2022 Top Doctor: Keren Cedillos, M.D.

Editorial StaffMarch 3, 2022
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Photography by Steve Craft
Photography by Steve Craft

Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Med School/Year Graduated: University of Arizona, 2004

Years in Practice: 10

How does the pediatric version of your specialty differ from mainline emergency medicine?

Children are not just little adults. As pediatric providers, we need to be aware of developmental stages, weight-based dosing and age-specific pathology and physiology. And, of course, we care for their parents as well.

Do you see more emergency pediatric patients for external things like accidents or for internal things like congenital conditions presenting in a life-threatening way?

Phoenix Children’s is a tertiary care facility and Arizona’s only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, so we see a good mix of both, depending on the season. Wearing a seatbelt and a helmet are such simple things that could prevent a visit to me.

Who is usually more nervous: your patients or their parents?

Their parents! Kids are seldom fakers, so if they’re sick, they act sick. And if they are well, they’ll be smiling and running around the room.

How do you explain complex or potentially distressing news to patients and their families?

Calmly, sitting down and in terms that laypeople and children can understand. At Phoenix Children’s, we are so fortunate to have a top-notch Child Life staff that can also help interact with kids in a developmentally appropriate way, so they feel comfortable and understand what is going on around them.

You graduated from U of A medical school. Do you still visit Tucson? Any favorite local haunts while you’re there?

I don’t get down to the Old Pueblo very often, but when I do it’s to cheer on the Cats and the Pride of Arizona Marching Band in football or basketball!

Name the best depiction of your field in TV or film that you’ve ever seen.

Scrubs! The show can seem ridiculous, but the medical cases and staff interactions are fairly authentic. You will never find a surgeon doing skin-to-skin with a preemie they just delivered in real life, as you see in some other medical dramas.

What are your hobbies and interests outside medicine?

I love all things crafty and have a craft U of A room in my house. Anything outdoors while the weather is beautiful is also a must – especially spring training, biking, hiking or lake days.

What are you watching on Netflix these days?

Gilmore Girls, Cobra Kai, The Ranch, The Crown and Schitt’s Creek are some of my favorites.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be…”

I’d open an Etsy shop.

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