AdolescentsMedical Practice

And Baby Makes…Four

By August 3, 1999August 3rd, 2017No Comments
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Cynthia Pegler
992 Fifth Avenue, at 81st Street
212-517-5313
Practice: Adolescents, predominantly girls, and young adults
HMOs:None
Hospital affiliations: New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Lenox Hill
Partners: None
House calls: Yes
Bribes: M&M’s, Hershey’s Kisses

Patients of Cynthia Pegler can spot each other immediately: They’re the ones with the excruciatingly cool tattoo Band-Aids. The Curious George model is in high demand. For that matter, so is Pegler. “She’s really easy to talk to,” says Shira Gasarch, 16, whose sister is also a patient. “She makes you feel like your own person. She called me on my line to give me the results of a blood test. Obviously, I told my mom about it, but I like that Dr. Pegler called me directly.”

When 18-year-old Courtney Singer went to Dr. Pegler for her first visit, what struck her, she remembers, was that “we just sat in her office for an hour talking. It was more than just a medical history. She wanted to make me more comfortable with her. It worked, because the next week I was calling her with questions. I speak to her once a week now. She definitely knew how to treat me medically, but she also knew how to treat me emotionally.”

It probably helps that Pegler, 40, looks young enough to be her patients’ contemporary. It also helps that she’s perfectly comfortable exchanging tips about the care and handling of curly hair and is very admiring of current teen trends in eye shadow. More significantly, she makes it clear by her manner that she can be trusted, that she respects confidentiality.

At the beginning of medical school, Pegler thought she wanted to be a pediatrician; by the end she thought she wanted to be a child psychiatrist. In many ways her practice combines the two disciplines. “I like to see myself as an advocate,” she says, “trying to help my patients make wise choices and allowing them to realize a doctor can be your ally.”

Pegler often finds that a routine appointment can take an unexpected turn. “Someone will say, ‘Oh, while I’m here, remember how you said I could get birth-control pills from you?’

“Some people will say to me, ‘I have normal, healthy teenagers. They don’t need to come to you.’ They think my practice is just problem kids,” says Pegler — who does, in fact, deal with her share of eating disorders and wrought-up psyches. “They don’t understand that I’m a transitional doctor — the one between the pediatrician and the internist. And I’ll say to these people, ‘Well, most of my patients are normal, healthy teenagers.’ “