Dr. Roy Wade Jr. Profiled in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Pediatrician studies social, economic roots of kids' health issues
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Ilene Raymond Rush | June 28, 2015

As a pediatrician at the Cobbs Creek Primary Care Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Roy Wade Jr. employs the usual tools of his trade, such as thermometer, tongue depressor, and stethoscope.

But as a researcher, he is working to develop a different kind of tool kit: a questionnaire to help pediatricians figure out which of their young patients are at greatest risk to develop early cognitive, emotional, and health problems.

Wade's work builds on the landmark 1998 ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study that showed that the more traumatic events a person experienced in childhood, the worse their health would be in later life.

Generally, the higher the ACEs score, the higher the chances for substance abuse, mental illness, diabetes, cancer - as well as for dropping out of school and living in poverty.

Wade's research is finding that childhood exposure to violence, crime, and racism - all common for many of his economically disadvantaged patients - also takes a powerful toll on their health as they grow up.