David P. Mooney, MD, MPH, is director of the Trauma Center, an assistant in the Department of Surgery, and an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. He’s been at Boston Children’s Hospital for 20 years.
How did you become interested in pediatric surgery?
I realized early on that I have a “surgical personality.” This means I love working with my hands and can typically decipher what’s wrong and fix it. I became interested in working with children as a medical student, when I was struck by the cheery, optimistic attitudes that the pediatric providers displayed at work. I realized their joy came from interacting with children, and I decided I wanted that too.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I love getting to play with kids and reassuring their families.
What made you choose to work in the Milford location?
Living in the Metrowest area, I understand how hard it is for families to make it into the city. So I like knowing that by seeing patients in the Milford clinic, I can save parents at least two hours of driving and their kids a half day of missed school.
What’s different about your program?
The conditions that other children’s hospitals consider complex are routine for us. We provide surgical services that can’t be found anywhere else in the country. The level of expertise and the processes we’ve developed to care for children with the most difficult surgical problems on the planet also benefit kids with more routine problems.
What’s your most memorable moment at Boston Children’s?
Being in the Emergency Department (ED), caring for the children injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. I will never forget how the EMS providers, surgeons, ED and operating room teams smoothly handled the worst situation imaginable, while never forgetting to take the time to comfort the critically-injured kids.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
My main hobby is home improvement — my home is 110 years old and I do most of the work on it myself. For activities, I enjoy cross country and downhill skiing, tennis, sailing, surfing, and martial arts. I’m also a regular early morning fixture at the gym across the street from the hospital. Keeping physically fit helps me perform my best at this physically demanding job.
Learn more about the Department of Surgery.
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