Dr. Jules Sherwinter looked in on newborn Chad Heacox during the boy’s first appointment at Dunwoody Pediatrics.
Initially, the baby was kicking and screaming in Sherwinter’s hands. But it only took the doctor’s knowing touch, guiding the boy’s tiny finger to his own mouth, and all was calm.
No wonder Sherwinter and his patients feel good about his practicing medicine in Dunwoody for 35 years.
Sherwinter knew he wanted to be a pediatrician as early as his high school days. “I loved science, and after being a camp counselor, I knew I liked being around kids,” he said.
Besides, the 66-year-old jokes, “I had good Jewish parents who said you’ve got to be a doctor or a lawyer, and I didn’t want to be a lawyer.”
Pediatrics came up after he gave up on a boyhood dream of becoming an astronaut. Even though he didn’t make it to outer space, some of his patients seem to think he hung the moon.
“He took care of me and my two brothers since we were babies, and I put my utmost trust and care in him now that I have my own children,” patient Adina Neufeld said. “He has the most incredible bedside manner and knows my family well, so it’s truly a personal visit, reminiscent of a time when doctors made house calls and treated everyone like family.”
Indeed, Sherwinter treated his own family often. “At age 10, my son, Davey, got a rash all over his body,” he said. “He asked me what it was, and I told him. He asked what I could do for it, and I told him it would go away on its own. He asked what caused it, and I told him nobody knows. He said: ‘That’s what I get for having a doc for a dad.’”
Dunwoody Pediatrics was born in 1978 on Mount Vernon Road. The office has moved twice to other Dunwoody locations that are no more than 100 yards from one another.
Sherwinter worked alone in the early years. Today, the practice has seven physicians and a nurse practitioner.
Like many of Sherwinter’s young patients, the practice had a growth spurt when an Alpharetta office opened in 1997, which relocated and expanded into a pediatric center with 10 sub-specialists in 2006.
“We call the Alpharetta branch ‘Dunwoody Pediatrics,’ also. I just love Dunwoody so much,” Sherwinter said.
Here are some notes from Sherwinter’s prescription pad:
-On early nutrition and obesity: “We suggest our infant patients begin by eating fruits and vegetables, instead of the usual rice-based cereals. Getting their taste preferences off to the right start can mean good nutritional habits for life.”
-On breast feeding: “I strongly support the practice. It’s been shown to promote less obesity, more immunity and fewer allergies and chronic diseases.”
-On vaccinations: “We do recommend immunizations. We have parents who refuse at first, but we usually succeed in changing their minds.”
Sherwinter’s list of dos and don’ts debunks some old wives tales. He advises patients:
-“Gargling with salt water for strep throat makes it hurt more.”
-“Fever is a good thing, because it helps the body kill viruses by attracting white blood cells. Treating fever too aggressively will prolong the sickness.”
-“Chicken soup for what ails you is good, but mainly because of the steam effect. Beware any salt. It dries the throat and makes you cough more.”