His name is Mudd, and contrary to the old saying, that’s a good thing for the hundreds of children and their families who depend on him for healthcare. (You must read to the end to learn his connection to that phrase!)
Dr. Jeffrey Mudd has been a pediatrician in Paducah 16 years, since finishing medical school and residency at the University of Louisville and Kosair Children’s Hospital.
It was a welcomed return home for him. “I moved to Paducah when I was 7 years old and met my future wife (Jill) in second grade. We wanted our children to grow up here around extended family.”
But Dr. Mudd cares for many other children, tending to everything from the usual sore throats and tummy aches of childhood to serious allergies and diseases in youth up to 18 years old.
He relishes his pediatrician role as a teacher. “Many young mothers will bring in a long list of questions at their baby’s checkup, often with apologies about how much of my time they are ‘wasting.’ I tell them, ‘That’s why I’m here.’ ”
He fields questions about feeding, development and, of course, dirty diapers. Lately, there have been many questions about immunizations. “Trying to ease parental fears and misconceptions about immunizations has become one of my latest crusades.”
While his general practice is broad in scope, he particularly likes to help patients with allergies. “I’m fortunate to have been fairly healthy throughout my life except for pretty severe allergies. I can still remember being tested for allergies as a young child and screaming for my mother, and that’s been almost 40 years ago.”
That personal experience makes it particularly rewarding to help children with asthma and allergies – all too common here. “Living in western Kentucky, I get plenty of practice.”
A pediatrician has the joy of watching patients grow up “right in front of my eyes.” He enjoys seeing them in the community, excelling in school or sports and becoming fine young citizens. “I cannot express the pride and humility I feel knowing parents entrust me with the health and medical well-being of their children.”
Sometimes, however, it’s the others who inspire him most, such as a 9-year-old boy who died.
“He had autism and severe seizures. Even with multiple medications, a good day for him would be 20 to 30 seizures. Despite his problems, the joy and love his parents and two sisters had for him was inspiring.”
When Dr. Mudd isn’t working, he enjoys following his beloved St. Louis Cardinals (he even named son Taylor Brock Mudd after the star player Lou Brock) and exploring his family genealogy, which he has traced back to the 1600s.
One bit of family history brings us back to that unfortunate old saying involving his name. He is very distantly related to Dr. Samuel Alexander Mudd, the physician who set John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg after the Lincoln assassination. Even though there is some earlier record of the “your name is Mud” derogatory phrase, many have associated it with the 19th century physician.
There is no confusion, however, about the Paducah pediatrician named Mudd. We are very fortunate to have him!
To get to know Dr. Mudd better, listen to his discussion about childhood obesity in this video: