An important question that I am often asked is, “If it were your child, what would you do?” I work in the field of pediatrics, and I am also a new father.

Although I have been practicing as a physician assistant in pediatrics for about 10 years, this question has taken on a whole new meaning since the birth of my daughter.

Answering this question requires my honest opinion, one parent speaking to another. When I was asked this question before my daughter was born, I could tell by the expression on parents’ faces that I was not quite able to grasp their point of view. The parents still wanted to know the
 answer, but it did not have the same impact that it would have had if I had been a parent.

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As I reflect back over my years of practice before my daughter was born, these parents had a good point. There is something inside that changes when you become a parent, especially as a medical provider in pediatrics. My daughter has made me a better medical provider and has made me realize that you can give textbook answers to questions in pediatrics, but living it 24 hours a day gives you a new perspective.

Now when I answer this question, the look on their faces is different from before. My advice is not just coming from a medical provider but from a parent, someone who can relate to their situation. 

We chose to become health care providers because we wanted to help people. The impact that we are having on people’s lives is greater than we can imagine. In general pediatrics, a primary care provider develops relationships with families that last from the time that their children are born until they go to college or longer.