From caring for battlefield casualties in Vietnam to surviving her own battle with breast cancer, Mary P. Brown, M.D., FAAP, recently elected chair of District VIII and member of the AAP Board of Directors, has a deep appreciation for each and every day of life.

Dr. Brown also knows how she wants to spend her life. “Whatever amount of time I'm privileged to have is going to be focused on issues for children and for pediatricians.”

Dr. Brown was born in Olympia, Wash. “My kids say back when the earth was cooling,” she joked.

Her father started out as one of only seven doctors in Olympia. He had a solo practice in general medicine there for 50 years. Her mother “was a mom and a schoolteacher.”

She has two brothers and a sister. One brother is an orthopedic surgeon,another is a dentist, and her sister is a physical therapist.

“There's...

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