Ted H. Burningham, MD

Emergency medicine is the rousing cousin of family medicine. And for Dr. Ted Burningham, both run in the family.

Dr. Burningham brings to his position as a family medicine physician at Tanner Clinic Layton extensive training and experience in emergency medicine.

Indeed, Dr. Burningham has worked in emergency rooms across the state from Beaver to Brigham City. In addition to his family practice in Layton, he currently fills in regularly on weekends at a hospital emergency unit in northern Minnesota, a remote location that has difficulty attracting medical professionals.

His family practice focuses on all aspects of pediatric and adult well care, with emphasis on adolescent medical and mental-health care and management of chronic diseases.

Dr. Burningham received his B.S. in biology from the University of Utah. He earned his M.D. from George Washington University, located seven blocks from the White House and used by many U.S. presidents for routine and emergency needs. While there, he earned the Upjohn Achievement Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement, awarded to those in the class’s top 15 percent.

The physician returned to Utah to complete his residency in family medicine at McKay-Dee Hospital Center.

Dr. Burningham’s first position as an attending physician was in the emergency room at Beaver Valley Hospital, Beaver, Utah. Prior to joining Tanner Clinic in 2003, the physician practiced for six years at the Valley Regional Medical Center in Tooele, Utah (now defunct). That period included two years as an emergency-room doctor and four years as an attending physician and surgeon.

Dr. Burningham is married and the father of six children. He is a cyclist — mostly road biking — and avid backyard stargazer. In his spare time, he satisfies his astronomical curiosity with an 8-inch telescope through which he sees “amazing things.” He’s also a University of Utah sports fan.

What patients are saying about Dr. Burningham

“Dr. Burningham has been my family’s doctor for a very long time. He is a great man and fantastic doctor. Makes you feel comfortable and doesn’t rush when spending time with you. He is highly recommended!”   — Lori on Facebook, Dec. 2, 2014

“Dr. Burningham has been my personal doctor for over 10 years and has taken very good care of my health. When I married, he became the family doctor and I have recommended him to several of my friends. Probably the best care I have ever had. He is a five-star doctor to our family.”   —  Jacque on Google+, June 2014

“I have the VA as a primary and Tanner Clinic as a backup. But more often than not I come to Tanner to see Dr. Burningham instead. He is just a personable guy, very friendly. He does what all doctors need to do, which is actually talk and really listen to try and figure out what the problem is. He has always steered me in the right direction. Ted Burningham is a phenomenal doctor and deserves an award — or bonus!”
—  Chris, in-office review card, May 14, 2014

Family Doctor Likes Teens, Loves Being Able to Help Them Through Hard Times

Dr. Ted Burningham likes teenagers. What’s more, he respects them.

Believe it or not, those two simple things are what make the family medicine physician a positive influence in the health care of anxious, morose or misbehaving teens. Which is to say, many teens.

Dr. Burningham is able to build a rapport with young people because, he explains, “Teenagers prefer working with someone who doesn’t think they’re just a pain in the neck.”

Over the 20 years Dr. Burningham has been counseling with teens, he’s grown to admire their honesty and quirkiness. “I understand them. I was one of them. I’m still one of them in a way!” he laughs. “I understand they have their strengths, weaknesses, successes and failures. I get along with them and they seem to like my style. As a result, I can focus on their illnesses and injuries and their emotional and physical developmental issues.”

He’s found that younger adolescents tend to receive treatment for “things like school behavior difficulties, struggling in school, trouble with friends, dealing with growing-up issues, expecting too much too fast.” Among older adolescents he sees a lot more depression.

Young people face trials, difficult choices

The Layton-based family physician says a large part of his practice is counseling patients of all ages who are undergoing stress, depression or anxiety. Indeed, such endeavors consume up to a third of each workday, he says.

Parents bring their teenagers in for office visits because of sports physicals, minor injuries and well-child exams. More and more often, however, they’re staying for counseling because of emotional concerns, said Dr. Burningham. “A lot of teenagers are struggling these days with maturity, illnesses, friends,” he says. “And there’s a lot of depression and anxiety disorder in young folks.”

He suspects that depression among teenagers has increased in the last decade because “society expects them to be more than they are.”

“Teenagers today face challenge we adults could never imagine,” he explains. “There’s more expected out of them by their teachers. They’re exposed to drugs and alcohol. At school, they have to move on faster to a higher level. They have exposure to things we never were when we were kids.”

Sometimes, he adds, “We forget they are still just kids.”

Reassurance a helpful remedy

Much of the time, Dr. Burningham says, teenagers simply need to be reassured that what they’re feeling is experienced by teens all over. “They need to know they’re not weird or crazy, that in fact they’re pretty normal,” he said. “That enough is therapeutic for them — knowing that they’re not unusual relieves them enough to get back on track.”

Once in a while, he said, low doses of medication may be prescribed after other treatments have too-little success. The mistake many providers make when prescribing medications, Dr. Burningham explained, is that teens are often started too early or at too high of a dose. An adult dose of an antidepressant can in many cases be detrimental when prescribed for a teen, he said. “You have to start really low and go really slow and teenagers will tend to do well,” he said.

Helpful when parents are ‘on board’

Treatment always goes better with parents as allies, he said, adding, “Boy, I’ve learned to listen to parents.”

Working with parents is especially important if medication is used as a treatment. “We take time to explain that these medications are not just happy pills that will cover up the symptoms — we’re trying to fix hormonal and other deficiencies.” Parents should also understand, he adds, that such medication is usually prescribed only on a temporary basis.

If parents understand, he said, “they’re on board with it. And they make sure the kid takes the medicine — and then we begin to see results.”

In the Media

Dr. Burningham discusses anxiety-related health issues in “Excessive Worry Is On The Increase And May Lead To Dementia” published by the Standard Examiner on February 3, 2015.