Jan Widerman, DO

Dr. Widerman is a dad of 37-, 34-, 27-, and 25-year-old children, an AOA board-certified pediatrician who has been in private practice in Philadelphia for 30 years. He also is an adjunct faculty member of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (PCOM) pediatric clinical education program and is the recipient of the school’s 2012 Affiliate Teacher of the Year Award

What was the biggest challenge you faced during your wife’s pregnancy, and how did you overcome it? I have an unusual situation with having raised two children from my wife’s first marriage, having an adopted son, and a daughter who was the product of our fourth try at in-vitro fertilization. She was the 52nd success at the University of Pennsylvania when in-vitro was just starting. My wife’s pregnancy had the added stress of not only worrying about having a healthy child but also having a child produced by a relatively new method at the time with many unknown factors. Together, my wife and I supported and discussed all of our concerns. Having that incredibly strong bond helped us both deal with the uncertainty involved in her pregnancy.

Why are fathers important? Fathers are important because the pride and intense rush that you experience with your child conveys a positive sense to the child of who they are. It also teaches them how to gain their own comfort and exhilaration in dealing with people and situations in their lives. Children’s confidence is bolstered and their self-esteem is enhanced by having a positive and loving relationship with their father. They learn from you how to deal with adversity and also joy. They gain confidence from knowing the love and support from their father is always there. This will lead to a happier person who, in turn, will provide love and support to others and also respect for all people.

Career, marriage, kids … how does a guy stay sane? Being a physician, I have always realized that my stability is vital for my family’s stability. My family has always been number one in my heart and soul. Baseball games, school functions, and ballet recitals have been my priority. Even though I am in solo practice and have an obligation to my patients, I have never let my career take a backseat to my children or my wife. Providing this security has established and taught my children what matters in this life is that your commitment to your offspring and spouse take a priority to all else. This is a lesson that should be taught to our family.

Dr. Widerman’s Q&As

How do you recommend potty training a toddler?

How do I get my infant to sleep through the night?

Profile by Wyatt Myers