Dr. Hadjiangelis is the father of a six-month-old son. He specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine and is the co-founder and chief medical officer of ZipCare, a start-up company that connects consumers with doctors from any computer or mobile device to address minor ailments. ZipCare’s mission is to offer “urgent care from anywhere.” Dr. Hadjiangelis resides in New York City.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while your wife was pregnant, and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge was to control stress that was generated by the uncertainty of the pregnancy outcome. Being a critical care specialist, I have treated cases where delivery went wrong. Sometimes knowing about the worst outcomes does not help. I overcame this challenge by talking to other colleagues who experienced parenthood before me.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a dad? This might not be the biggest challenge, but it’s surprising how difficult this is. People often ask me how old my baby is. This question, even though it appears to be easy to answer, is not when you have a newborn at home like I do. The reason is that every day, the newborn becomes one day older; then every week he becomes a week older! Until he completes his first year of age, I have to recalculate in my sleepless brain his updated age every time a patient asks me this question.
What’s the most surprising lesson that being a dad has taught you? How much urine a baby produces!
What also amazes me most is that so often people ask me how the baby is doing, but nobody asks me how I am doing. It seems to me that once I became a father, nobody is interested in how I am doing! I guess this is parenthood: It has a beginning and no end.
As a new dad, “How is the baby doing” is a general question I often get from patients that is impossible to answer concisely. I often answer back, “The baby is doing well,” and describe briefly what he did in the last 24 hours; for example, he cannot sit still; he puts everything in his mouth; he ate all his food; he loves eating bananas.
What’s the one bit of advice about fatherhood you wish someone had given you much earlier? You can never be prepared for parenthood. You think that you are, but in reality you realize that you are not, no matter how mature you think you are.
Career, marriage, kids…How does a guy stay sane? Take it day by day; you are in it for the long run.
Profile by Wyatt Myers