The fatherly advice that shaped our doctors

As Father’s Day approaches, we asked our doctors to share their fathers’ words of wisdom that left an everlasting mark. Here’s what they said about the men who’ve shaped them to become compassionate care providers and pioneering researchers.  Ask bold questions  “My father told me to ‘ask bold questions and then look for the answers.’ I share his sense of curiosity and desire to learn, and took my inspiration from him to become a physician (he was a cardiothoracic surgeon). His advice led me to engage in scientific and clinical efforts to improve treatment for our patients, including those with one of the deadliest forms of cancer, anaplastic thyroid cancer.” — Stephen Lai, M.D., Ph.D. A strong work ethic “My father didn’t have a formal education beyond the sixth grade, but he worked long hours to make a better life for his family. When I was a teenager, he encouraged me to continue on with school. I became the first person in my family to graduate from college, and now I’m the Medical Director of MD Anderson in The Woodlands. I learned about a strong work ethic, dedication, determination and passion from my dad. He passed away during my internship year, and I wish he could see me now.” — Pamela Schlembach, M.D. The value of respect “My dad was a deli manager at a grocery store for 40 years. No matter what was going on in his life, he always smiled and treated his customers with respect. As a physician, I always strive to do the same with my patients and colleagues.” — Joe Herman, M.D. A commitment to...