There are some big reasons why Dr. Jennifer (Jen) Arnold, famed by her national TV show The Little People, is one of the most viewed and highly rated doctors on Vitals.com for the last two years.
For one, there are not many doctors like her. Born with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, Arnold only stands 3 feet, 2 inches tall. That makes her shorter than most of the children on the pediatric wing of the hospital she works.
But Arnold’s focus is neonatology, meaning that she works with fragile, premature babies that are fighting to live. Arnold says that she always wanted to be a doctor.
“It was my dream to go to Johns Hopkins because I had been a patient there for most of my childhood,” she said in a recent interview with HealthCheck. “Cause otherwise, I would be in a wheelchair right now or may not even be alive,” Dr. Jen Arnold said.
While Arnold does need to modify her surroundings by using a step stool to monitor a patient or by having specially-ordered small gloves for examinations, her patients do not see her height as a hindrance in the level of care they receive. In fact, they often see her stature as a symbol of her courage and praise the work that she does.
The parent of one of her small patients recently stated on Vitals.com “Dr. Jen is my hero!!!!!” and others who she has worked with echo that sentiment. Described as “caring” and “thorough” in her work, one reviewer describes her as having “a true happiness and loves to share her joy of life with others.”
“I try to be realistic in my limitations, but I don’t let them hinder me from things that I think I can or want to do,” Dr. Jen Arnold said about the impact her height has on her work and personal life.
Recently, Arnold has been candid about her quest to have a baby. She and her husband, Bill Klein, have been undergoing fertility treatments and are seeking a surrogate, since childbirth poses a real risk to Arnold’s life because of her tiny stature.
Both Arnold and Klein, who have average-sized parents say it doesn’t matter to them if their child is tall or not. Like parents of all sizes, they care about one thing only.
“We just want a healthy baby,” Arnold says.