AAP Member Spotlight

  Needle Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

Pediatrician and Writer
Atlanta, Georgia

Jennifer Shu, MD, is a poster physician for non-traditional career paths. As both a mother and a pediatrician, her experiences across the country--reaching from San Francisco and San Diego to her most recent position in New Hampshire as an instructor of pediatrics and the director of the normal newborn nursery at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth--have taken her from private practice and academics to the pages of US News & World Report and Discovery Health Channel's KidsHealthworks series.

Dr. Shu has served in multiple professional organizations as the national chairperson of the young physicians sections for both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association and as chapter vice president of AAP California Chapter 3.

When Dr. Shu temporarily became a stay-at-home mom after being in practice for several years, she realized she was learning many practical tips that they just don't teach you in medical school or residency. The only problem was that, without having a panel of patients anymore, she had no one with whom to share this new wealth of information.

Enter Laura Jana, MD, FAAP who out of the blue emailed Jennifer one day in 2001 to discuss the upcoming AAP vice-presidential election. Unbeknownst to either of them, the two former UC-San Francisco pediatrics residents were living within 5 miles of each other in the Denver area and both happened to be between jobs at the time. Dr. Jana, a mother of 3 young children, had recently co-founded the Dr. Spock Company and was about to move to Nebraska and begin a new job. Both Drs. Jana and Shu were brimming with practical parenting ideas and committed to write it all down in hopes of publishing a book, and suddenly a new career as a writer was born.

During their writing, edits and rewrites, Dr. Shu had the good fortune of being tapped to edit the AAP book Baby & Child Health: The Essential Guide from Birth to 11 Years (DK Publishing, 2004). After 3 years of working with various agents and potential publishers, their newborn care book, Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, was published by the AAP. In this successful new partnership, Heading Home has garnered several parenting category book awards, including the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Award from Publisher's Marketing Association and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year 2005 First Place Gold Award.

Dr. Shu recently relocated with her family to Atlanta for her husband's new job with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is once again a stay-at-home mother (for the time being, anyway) and writer who is currently a member of the Parents magazine Board of Advisors and consultant for Kiddopotamus, Injoy Videos and the Web-based Child Health Guide.

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