President's Message

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My Family

December 2015
Atul Malhotra, MD

Atul Malhotra, MD

As we approach the holidays, I would like to take this opportunity to talk about family. Many of us, including me, put their heart and soul into their work. I want to do everything I can for my patients, my trainees, my division, and the ATS. Recently, the ATS developed the Global Scholars, Resident Boot Camp, and Student Scholars programs to involve the next generation and train our replacements to the best of our abilities. I am incredibly thrilled about these programs, as we have already witnessed major progress in our efforts.

However, I have two daughters—Clare, 11, and Niamh, 10—who are the sun, moon, and stars to me. So, I would like to focus on them for this President’s Message.

This year, I have had to travel a lot. This means that I don’t make it to every softball game or every soccer game. I hate missing these events, but duty calls. In the case of softball games, I have been labeled “Slurpee Daddy” since I provide refreshments after the game, win or lose. The team is particularly disappointed when I am out of town more in relation to the refreshments than my skills in the dugout. In the case of soccer, I have been banned from speaking on the sidelines, but I continue to provide input running up and down the sidelines using various facial expressions. At least my Fitbit appreciates me.

I occasionally hear comments like “daddy is never home” or “when are you leaving next?” Obviously, these comments don’t sit well with me. Also, I get offended when people say “you must never see your kids.” Although I have to travel frequently, I take my responsibilities seriously and do everything in my power to avoid missing my children’s activities.

My schedule is often crazy, but I make a point of leaving work at 4 p.m. some days to get to my children’s activities. And when I spend time with them, my focus is solely on them. Distractions like email, manuscripts, NIH grants, etc., can wait. And on many nights, once my daughters are asleep, I either go back to the office or log on from my couch while watching sports.

A wise person once said, “Success is measured in the home, not at work.” When it comes to my two daughters, I am pleased to announce that I have won the Nobel Prize not once, but twice.

I am very proud of our ATS accomplishments and our ongoing efforts. Indeed, I predict the ATS 2016 International Conference in San Francisco, California, will be our most successful ever.

But more so, I am proud of my amazing wife, Karen, and my children. I encourage each ATS member to go home, hug every family member, and to be thankful for a great 2015. Happy holidays, all.

Last Reviewed: September 2017