Craig M. Wax, DO

Dr. Wax is a proud father of a daughter and three sons; a board-certified family physician; host of a weekly radio show/webcast/podcast “Your Health Matters” on Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM and wgls.rowan.edu featuring physicians, health experts, and authors from across the country;  a member of the Medical Economics editorial board; and the founder of HealthIsNumberOne.com, a free health information website, in Mullica Hill, NJ

What was the biggest challenge you faced as a dad, and how did you overcome it? Stressors add up quickly: loss of sleep, crying children, anxious yelling family members, increasing home expenses, work pressures, patient health challenges, office staff issues, insurance denials, government mandates, increasing office expenses, shrinking relative reimbursement for your time and effort, electronic health record technology changes and expenses, etc. Not to mention that most of the aforementioned stressors are preventable!

Here are some ways you can keep your own stressors in check:

  • Pace yourself.
  • Care for your own health.
  • Sleep regularly and whenever possible.
  • Drink water.
  • Eat vegetables.
  • Stay calm.
  • Don’t yell first and don’t yell back.
  • Exercise an hour daily (“me time”).
  • Enjoy hobbies.

What’s the most surprising lesson that being a dad has taught you? Children are incredible. They will surprise you with word and deed at every turn. Pay attention to the little things and laugh as much as possible. Spend time with them. Enjoy them. They are only young for a moment just as you once were.

What’s the one bit of advice about fatherhood you wish someone had given you much earlier? E. All of the above.

What’s the one thing about being a new dad that shouldn’t be missed? Be there and be a part of the process. In my opinion, the greatest word in the English language is not “love,” but “daddy.”

What’s the most overrated thing about fatherhood? Diaper changes and potty training.

What’s the most underrated thing about fatherhood? Diaper changes and potty training. It’s all perspective. I got a good laugh out of the scene when my then three-year-old boy urinated in the potty for the first time from up on a stool and proceeded to celebrate by dancing and shouting out the chorus to Joe Jackson’s song “I’m the Man” from the 1980s.

Why are fathers important? Fathers are an example of fatherhood, manhood, husbandhood, family, traditions, love, commitment, honesty, conflict resolution, responsibility, and all else to spouse and children. There are many more, but space is limited. Add your own! What could be more important?

Career, marriage, kids … how does a guy stay sane? Relax. Spend time with your spouse alone weekly and with your family daily. Be in the moment. Enjoy your exercise and hobby time. Live your lifestyle as if your life and your family’s life depend on it. It does!

Dr. Wax’s Q&As

Should I be concerned about my child’s rash?

How much should I trust medical information that I read online?

Profile by Wyatt Myers