William Cedric Dash, MD

Dr. Dash is a dad of a 20-month-old son and a pediatrician in private practice, in Baltimore, Maryland.

What was the biggest challenge you faced as a dad, and how did you overcome it? Cooking is what I like to do as a hobby, but cooking every day, especially for a little one, is a big deal. Adults can just grab something, but you have to make sure your child has complete square meals with veggies and meat.

What’s the most surprising lesson that being a dad has taught you? My son watches and does everything I do. One day I was starring at the TV watching a game with my arms crossed, and he stood right beside me with his arms crossed, too. That is just one example, but kids really do whatever they see done at home!

What’s the one bit of advice about fatherhood you wish someone had given you much earlier? That it is draining, but very rewarding. You get to help someone make choices in life. You are never fully prepared for it. You can read all the books and have all the knowledge, but some things are not in the books, and you have to learn as you go.

What’s the one thing about being a new dad that shouldn’t be missed? Watching him mature into a little man!

What’s the most overrated thing about fatherhood? Nothing. Kids need us, and you enjoy the whole process

What’s the most underrated thing about fatherhood? The time you spend is so valuable. I hate it when I have a meeting and get home so late he is already asleep!

Why are fathers important? Kids need someone to look up to. Women are great, and I applaud single mothers for doing such a wonderful job, but kids need a father, as well. Kids need the strong but nurturing hand a father can lend when they get hit too hard in football or when they lose the baseball game. Dads are just as big of fans as moms. It makes you feel so good when your son hits the home run to win the game or hits the game-winning shot. I have a few nephews who are a little older than my son, and I can tell how proud my brother is when they win the games. I cannot wait until my son gets that old to do the same.

Career, marriage, kids … how does a guy stay sane? What you have to do is have a guy’s trip or something.  I get down to my homecoming every year in Atlanta, and I plan a trip to a basketball tournament with my buddies every year so that we can all have some time together with just the fellas.

Profile by Wyatt Myers

Dr. Dash’s Q&A

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