Doctor tackles teen health issues on radio call-in show

A New York pediatrician hopes to reach hip-hop youths through the airwaves.

By Damon Adams — Posted May 15, 2006

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Adam Aponte, MD, might be on the radio, but he's no spin doctor.

Instead of playing tunes or handling requests, Dr. Aponte hosts "Medical Mondays with Dr. Aponte" on New York station WQHT -- also known as Hot 97, home to hip-hop music.

Dr. Aponte said having a medical segment on the hip-hop station allows him to reach New York City's young urban population about preventive health care.

"I don't rap. I wouldn't dare try to," joked Dr. Aponte, a pediatrician and medical director of North General Diagnostic and Treatment Center in New York City.

Dr. Aponte, who grew up in East Harlem, N.Y., did some radio promotions for health fairs, and one of Hot 97's on-air personalities asked him to have a regular spot on the station. In April, he started his medical segment as part of the "Miss Jones in the Morning" show.

Dr. Aponte's program airs every other Monday. Each segment has a different theme.

"We're just trying to educate people about very simple stuff," he said.

One segment addressed pediatric obesity, and he also hopes to talk about cardiovascular disease, sexually transmitted diseases and other illnesses. He wants to tackle health disparities and will encourage young listeners who are interested in pursuing a medical career.

A big part of his program involves listeners calling in and asking questions, Dr. Aponte said. Questions usually depend on the theme he's discussing.

"For me, [the program] is important because it's an audience that is hard to reach," he said. "It's definitely a good avenue to try to reach these kids."

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