Brett M. Scotch, DO

Dr. Scotch is a dad of a seven-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son.  He’s  board certified in Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, and Facial Plastic Surgery, and he operates Scotch Institute of Ear, Nose, and Throat in Wesley Chapel, Florida. He is also an adjunct clinical assistant professor of surgery/ENT for the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine-Bradenton.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while your wife was pregnant, and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge was how to be a good husband to someone whose emotions, body, and energy were changing day to day.

I overcame this challenge by learning to listen to what my wife needed rather than try to figure it out on my own. Also, I realized that not everything could be “fixed” or was in my control. We kept our sense of humor and had lots of good laughs along the way.

What’s the most surprising lesson that being a dad has taught you? The frequent advice of “pick your battles” is worth heeding. Some things just won’t be the same or as perfect or as clean as you had before kids. It’s okay to forget about the house being so tidy and make that monstrous fort like only a dad would.  And does it really matter if your daughter wears one orange and one green sock to the store if she is smart and well-mannered?

What’s the one bit of advice about fatherhood you wish someone had given you much earlier? That you can never be completely prepared — and to enjoy the ride.

What’s the one thing about being a new dad that shouldn’t be missed? Being present. Work less; be home with your child more. It goes by so quickly — those special moments of your newborn sleeping on your chest, feeding them, watching their eyes in wonder as they experience new things. Take lots of pictures and make sure you are in them, too, not always being the one behind the camera.

What’s the most underrated thing about fatherhood? Those jobs that only get assigned to the dads — killing bugs, plunging the toilet, or fixing broken toys — but I see it as being the protector of my family.

Why are fathers important? Fathers provide a completely different type of dynamic than mothers, and both are necessary. Fathers have a responsibility to teach children how to love and respect others by how he acts, beginning with how he treats his wife.

Dr. Scotch’s Q&As

My kids are constantly battling for attention from us — and bickering with each other as a result. How can I keep them from driving us crazy?

Why do so many kids have recurrent ear infections and need tubes in their ears?

Profile by Wyatt Myers