Dr. Ingrid Walker-Descartes: ‘Community pediatrics’ approach to healthcare

“I have always been fascinated with children,” says Dr. Ingrid Walker-Descartes.

Dr. Walker-Descartes’ sister was born when she was 13 inspiring her to care and protect children. “It lit a flame I have never been able to put out!,” she says.

This led to her dedicated career as a pediatrician including her current position as clinical director of Child Maltreatment Services at Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital as well as child abuse attending in the Child Abuse Fellowship Training Program.

Dr. Walker-Descartes emigrated from Jamaica at 10 with her father and brother to reunite with her mother, who was a live-in on Long Island.

After receiving her B.S. in Molecular Biology and Immunology, she taught science to at-risk New York high school students. In addition to her M.D. from the University of Rochester, she earned an M.P.H. at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

The doctor is co-chairwoman of the Chapter 2 Committee on the Prevention of Family Violence, a member of the AAP Special Interest Group on Child Abuse and Neglect and is a member of numerous professional child abuse organizations

She is also an APA New Century Scholar and junior mentor for underrepresented minorities in medicine.

Dr. Walker-Descartes has been on the pediatrics faculty at Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital as a general pediatrician and a child abuse pediatrician for seven years. She also trains physicians caring for under-served children in Brooklyn.

This honoree adopts a “community pediatrics” approach to serve the needs of her patients and their families in practice and in her training of physicians.

She cites her seven-member “Care Committee” as the influential force in her career with “God as the chairperson.”

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