Ketan Trivedi, MD

Dr. Trivedi is a dad of three children and an emergency medicine physician on staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center in Mansfield, Texas.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while your wife was pregnant, and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge I faced while my wife was pregnant was that it was in the transition point of my medical school, and I was waiting to be matched into a residency program. We were not sure what and where our future would be, as there was a lot of uncertainty ahead. With a twin pregnancy and my being a medical student, it was twice as difficulty to face the journey ahead both physically and financially. We overcame our obstacles by committing to work as a team, by supporting each other as best as we could, and remaining optimistic about our future.

What’s the most surprising lesson that being a dad has taught you? The most surprising lesson that being a dad has taught me is that kids are always listening to what we say and do … even though it may seem that they are not focused or paying attention to what is being said. For example, after a busy day in the ER, during dinnertime, my son asked me a generic question on, “How do we swallow, and why does the food not go into our air pipe?” As my son picked away at his food and nodded his head at my explanation, he asked me once again, ‘But why does it really do that, Dad?’ I reluctantly re-explained to him what I had already explained earlier, and he just nodded and changed the subject. To my surprise it was during my conference with his teacher the following week, it was brought to our attention by his teacher that the next morning after our discussion on swallowing, he proudly went in front of his second-grade class and explained the entire process to his classmates, exactly as I had told him. This was a huge lesson for me that even when it seems that kids are not paying attention, they are taking in all the information around them. They are paying attention to everything we are saying.

What’s the one thing about being a dad that should not be missed? The one thing about being a new dad that should not be missed is being involved in the daily routines of the baby, such as diaper changes, feeding, bathing, putting them down to nap, and entertaining them. These are special times that will form special bonds for the dad and the child. Furthermore, this also relieves the burden from the mother and gives her a break and strengthens the relationship between the couple.

It baffles me when I hear my close friends say, “I don’t do diapers,” or, “I can’t watch the baby without the mother,” or  “I can’t take care of the baby for an hour”. It was a privilege to be able to be intimately involved in caring for all three of my children. I never looked at it as a chore, but I looked forward to it as my special time with them.

Why are fathers important? Fathers are important, as they are the authority figure in the family and in your child’s life. They can be a role model, provide guidance and encouragement to the child, and help children build self esteem as they grow. The father provides a positive role not only for his son, but more for his daughter, as she will grow up and look up to him as her pillar of strength and self esteem. She will often compare her boyfriends against her father, searching for similar qualities as she has seen in her dad. Hence a father should display positive characteristics for his children. It is often said that the father is the first love and first man in his daughter’s life, and they should take this responsibility and privilege seriously. Sons too, watch their dad’s behavior with their mother and learn from them at a subconscious level, and it will determine how he will treat women in their lives.

Career, marriage, kids…… how does a guy stay sane? TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK! Give each their due attention with a strong supportive spouse. When away from work duties, I’ m usually spending as much time as possible with my wife and children … catch up with them during their lunchtime at school or take them to their after-school activities. This also allows me to bond with the kids, and it gives my wife a break to do other things. If I’m running late from work, often I will catch up with the family in the middle of their activities, such as attending a baseball game and taking the girls to get concessions, again bonding with them and catching up with their stories. This overall has strengthened our marriage, as we both have an understanding of balancing responsibilities at work as well as at home.

Dr. Trivedi’s Q&As

How can you tell if your child is sick or if you’re making a mountain out of a molehill?

What do you take away from your stress-filled job to apply to your own family?

Profile by Wyatt Myers