Jennifer Horst, MD, specializes in pediatric primary care with Washington University Clinical Associates (WUCA).
Dr. Horst sees patients at:
8888 Ladue Road, Suite 100
St. Louis, MO 63124
Please call 314-862-4050 for an appointment.
What happened in the course of schooling to influence you to choose your specialty?
I have been very fortunate to have amazing role models in the field of pediatrics who influenced my choice. During my medical school pediatrics rotation in rural Missouri, I worked alongside Dr. Kevin Blanton, who truly embodied the rural physician by providing the full spectrum of pediatric care. This was the first experience that really piqued my interest in pediatrics. From there, Dr. Michael DeBaun at Washington University mentored me during my fellowship and provided an excellent example of how thoughtful research can dramatically affect pediatric care.
Which aspect of your practice is most interesting?
I find pediatrics to be both intellectually stimulating and emotionally rewarding. Many people ask, “Isn’t it all viral illnesses?” While I certainly see a fair share of viral illnesses, I find it rewarding to empathize with parents’ concerns, explain why I am or am not worried about their child, and provide guidance. Intellectually, the wide range of pediatric pathology is fascinating: From abnormalities, developmental concerns, infectious diseases, mental health, to traumatic injuries and beyond.
In what ways has working in pediatric emergency medicine helped you as a primary care provider?
After seeing the worst of the worst-case scenarios for the past decade, I can provide specific examples on why preventative care is so important (i.e., vaccinations, helmet safety, cardiac screening on physicals, dental care). I have seen children with sepsis/meningitis from vaccine-preventable illness; children die from head trauma without a helmet or proper safety restraints in cars; and children in cardiac arrest from an unknown congenital heart defect, etc. I also have gained vast experience in wound care, burn care, traumatic head injuries and orthopedic injuries.
How do you balance being a parent and a physician?
I am fortunate to have help from family. My husband is an emergency medicine physician, so balancing our schedules can be challenging. Both my parents and in-laws help care for our children.
Are there any new developments in your field that you are excited about?
Expanded vaccine coverage for pneumococcus. As I have seen children die or develop life-long disabilities from sepsis/meningitis, and I hope that the increase in vaccinations will decrease these terrible events.
Where are you from?
I have lived in Missouri all my life. I was raised in Jackson, Missouri, and went to undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Missouri in Columbia. I moved to St. Louis, where I completed my residency and fellowship training. I enjoy living here, raising my family, and working at the Children’s Clinic.
What is the best advice you’ve received?
I have received two excellent pieces of advice, one personal and one professional. My mother told me, “Never compare yourself to others, or you will become vain and bitter.” Dr. DeBaun advised, “Follow your passion and the success will follow.”