Jalan Burton is not your average pediatrician. She visits her patients instead of them having to come to her, and practices telemedicine. “Dr. J,” as Burton is often called, doesn’t even have a formal office.
“All of my care happens in the patient’s home,” explained Dr. Burton. “House calls just make sense. They are well-suited for busy families, families with newborns, families with multiple children, families with working parents, families with children with special or complex medical needs, children with allergies and asthma. You name it,” she said while describing the various types of patients she sees on a regular basis.
Proud Penn Branch Resident
Dr. Burton and husband Ori – a college professor – chose Penn Branch and Ward 7 to call home with their two young sons. The family, who expects to add a girl to the mix in the spring, never regretted the decision.
“I am a proud Penn Branch resident. We absolutely love our neighbors and community and purchased our home several years ago. I fell in love with Southeast DC while a medical student at the George Washington University School of Medicine.”
Dr. Burton has more than 10 years of experience. She started her practice east of the river because she thought it would be a partial answer to solving the continuing healthcare crisis in Wards 7 and 8. By administering direct care to patients and being received in their homes, she provides high-quality services while maintaining a low overhead.
Residents who are wealthy or live in a more affluent neighborhood, say in upper Northwest, have numerous options for high-quality private-practice medical care, but those in underserved neighborhoods, like Ward
“As I continue to grow and become more financially stable,” explained Dr. Burton, “I hope to launch a bartering system with community members and eventually provide free services to those in need, such as those on Medicaid. But my accountant won’t let me do that just yet!”
Not Your Average Doctor
“Dr. Burton gives you peace of mind and access that you wouldn’t have because of her style and time she spends with the patient,” said Leslie Kershaw, a pleased parent whose son is a patient. “I’ve known Dr. Burton for about three years as a parent at my child’s school and we also live in the same community – East of the River,” she said. “I’ve had a wonderful experience having her as my son’s primary physician.”
Said Dr. Burton, “When you contact me, you are not triaged or get a nurse. When folks have appointments, they are not rushed. I just do not believe in these 15-minute appointments that are the national average and that many practitioners in this region stick to.”
Kershaw, whose four-year-old son has autism, finds Dr. Burton’s modus operandi “a life-altering experience.” The doctor “came to the house and got to observe him in his natural environment. When we had an appointment with another doctor at his office, our son
was uncomfortable and a bit tense.”
Growing up in Buffalo, New York, Jalan Burton aspired to be a doctor. She enjoyed working with others, learning facts and researching biomedicine. The precocious teenager matriculated at the University of Virginia and spent most of her summers shadowing doctors and other healthcare workers. Later Burton would receive a master’s degree, while specializing in health promotion, at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health before entering medical school in the District at George Washington University and graduating with a concentration in urban and community medicine.
“Ultimately, pediatrics was the specialty in medicine that most spoke to my heart, my skills and my enthusiasm. I absolutely love working with children and families,” declared the doctor, who completed a pediatric primary care residency with UNC Hospitals.
Besides her parents, Clar (short for Clarence) and Sheila Washington, who remember that every school report and career day reflected their daughter’s desire to become a physician, other influential people were grandparents Eula Mae and Buddy Washington.
Burton says that her role models outside the family are Martin Luther King Jr. and two dynamic, if somewhat different, women – Oprah Winfrey and Shirley Chisholm. Dr. Burton also fondly recalled the words of the late Marian Wright Edelman, “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life.”
Becoming a mother, Dr. Burton said, has made her a better, more credible doctor with empathy and understanding. No longer would she just care for her patients based upon her training and the facts she learned from books. Her practice has became more balanced, more personal and relevant.
“My goal is to provide truly holistic, personalized and unrushed medicine to help children and families be as healthy as they can and thrive. My practice through Healthy Home Pediatrics is unique because it is about solving the problems that parents everywhere are experiencing,” said Dr. Burton.
Find Dr. Jalan Burton at www.healthyhomepediatrics.com.