Applying Family Lessons to Job

How does your experience as a father change the way you practice medicine?

Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: When I started, I did not have a son, so I would take calls on the phone and hear parents ask me what to do when their child cried all night or is vomiting or has a cold.

I used to think it cannot be that bad to have them crying that long until I had a son and stayed up all night because he had a cough. I now understand what it means to be up all night with no sleep. It makes me a lot more understanding to parents because I know how they feel.

But I will say this: The books say no meds but normal saline and bulb suctioning for a cold. I always tell parents this. I will say from experience that this does work. The problem with medicine is that there is no magic pill, so unfortunately time is the best cure for a lot of things. Since we are an impatient society, we all flood the doctors’ offices and emergency rooms wanting that pill. Tea and time will cure more than we think.

William Cedric Dash, MD, a dad of a 20-month-old son and a pediatrician in private practice, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Q&A by Wyatt Myers