Charlotte Cowan MD Honored by Obama Administration for Innovative “Doctor Hippo” Series Charlotte Cowan MD Honored by Obama Administration for Innovative “Doctor Hippo” Series
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About the Hippocratic Press

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Image by Elaine Garvin

The Hippocratic Press was founded by Dr. Charlotte Cowan with the primary mission of publishing medical children's stories that entertain, educate and reassure both parent and child.

A board certified pediatrician, Dr. Cowan worked with parents and their children for many years before leaving her busy practice at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston. She knows childhood inside out, and she has taken care of children both when they have been sick and when they have been well—but stumbling over developmental issues.

Over the years, Dr. Cowan observed that the children whom she saw for well visits changed when they were sick: cheerful, energetic, inquisitive children became scared, clingy and miserable. Often, their parents were just as unhappy: tired and worried, many were frightened because they did not understand the illness confronting their child.

The idea of writing stories for sick children evolved as a natural combination of her professional experience and her childhood love of reading. As a pediatrician, Dr. Cowan developed a strong intuition that children would do better with their illnesses if they both understood what was happening to them and realized that they would get better. As a fan of children's books, she recognized that they offered the perfect medium for her message.

Before long, Dr. Cowan began to write age appropriate stories for her patients. Through her animal characters, she not only entertains her audience but also combines empathy with education. Reading her stories, children and their parents will feel comforted and cared for as they face together the inevitable illnesses of childhood.

The fact that Dr. Cowan's stories are written for children underscores the national literacy campaign. Children themselves will want to read her books. Additionally, as parents read her books to their children, they will begin to feel better. In the creation of such warm associations with reading is the beginning of literacy: a child who is read to by a concerned parent—and who is reassured by that reading—will develop into someone who loves to read!

Furthermore, because not all parents in America read English well, Dr. Cowan has matched the illustrations of her stories to the questions and answers in her "Parent Guides," which are included with her books. This visual relationship should help to cue parents and enable them to focus on areas of concern for them and their child.