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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Aug 2, 2019



Proactively reassuring students leaving the secure nest of elementary school for what seems to them insurmountable challenges of middle school improves their performance, attendance, and cooperation.  A just published study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison measured the effects of interventions crafted to convince fearful, anxious students that they are not alone and that both academic and social help is always available.


The study looked at more than 1300 first year Wisconsin middle school students.  Those student in the program were 18% more likely to pass their courses, 12% more likely to attend regularly, and 34% less likely to require discipline.  They enjoyed less test anxiety, demonstrated more trust for their teachers, and did ask for help more freely.


Since a troubled start to middle school often portends an unsuccessful high school experience, the modest cost of the program, several $$ per child, is definitely money well spent.


University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Power of refocusing student stress in middle school transition: Sixth graders taught to see transition turmoil as 'normal, temporary' perform better in class." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2019.


#MiddleSchool #transition #secondaryeducation