Children's Hospital Colorado

A True Icon of Pediatrics: The Career and Legacy of Barton Schmitt, MD

As doctors, curiosity can be the driving factor to a long, successful and fulfilling career. It can be the difference between daily repetition and years of practicing evolved education. For Barton Schmitt, MD, curiosity has been a transformative force for over 50 years, influencing his approach to teaching residents, patient encounters and career development. Otherwise known as a true icon of pediatrics, Dr. Schmitt's humble, down-to-earth nature helped create one of our industry's most prestigious pediatric guidelines.   

For more than five decades, Dr. Schmitt has elevated the Children's Hospital Colorado name while creating a legacy of his own. Many know him as the author of the Pediatric Telephone Triage Guidelines used in the Children’s Colorado Pediatric Call Center. Those decision-support tools are used worldwide and have been translated into multiple languages. Throughout his career, he's had numerous other titles, such as the faculty attending for the Child Health Clinic and the medical director of the Child Protection Team. Now, on the brink of his next chapter, we reflect on his incredible legacy and find out what's next.  

Dr. Schmitt would like to thank the many healthcare professionals who help him keep the pediatric telehealth guidelines, parent handouts and symptom checker up to date, including: 

  • Medical editors: Sam Wang, MD, and Julia Bruckner, MD 
  • Nurse editors: Kelli Massaro, RN and Lisa Swerczek, RN 
  • Specialists at Children’s Colorado who provide expert reviews of new topics 
  • The many triage nurses who have worked in the Children's Colorado call center since 1988 and made observations that led to change 
  • David Thompson, MD, FACEP, and the adult editorial team
  • The nurse leadership at over 40 other U.S. and Canadian call centers who provide the annual user feedback that keep the guidelines reality-based and evolving 

In this episode, we discuss 

  • The creation and expansion of the Pediatric Telephone Triage Guidelines  
  • The impact that curiosity has had on Dr. Schmitt's career  
  • Dr. Schmitt's hopes for the future  
  • Advice for doctors, nurses and medical professionals 

Listen here or on your podcast platform of choice, including SpotifyApple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

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