Celebrating Dad and Dr. Luis Rodriguez
For Father’s Day, Johns Hopkins All Children’s honors the fathers like Luis Rodriguez, M.D., M.A.S., who work at the hospital.
Luis Rodriguez, M.D., M.A.S. is a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, a father and husband of Lisa Moore, M.S.N., M.H.A, R.N., the senior director of nursing in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute. Together they coparent seven children.
“We have a Brady Bunch mixed family. I have three boys and Lisa has three boys and a girl,” says Rodriguez.
They range in age from 28 to 19 and live all over — from Japan to different parts of Florida: St. Augustine, Gainesville and St. Petersburg.
This Father’s Day, Johns Hopkins All Children’s honors the fathers like Rodriguez who work at the hospital and sat down with him to take a deeper look at his role as a dad. He gets a bit emotional as he pays tribute to his own father, Florentino, who he dearly admires.
“I don't think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for my father. He is an example of hard work. His ethics and his morals are what have guided me throughout all my high school, college and medical school residency. My father always instilled in me that you have gifts from God, and they are not for your enrichment, but instead so that you can help others. He is the reason why I went into medicine and why I do what I do. I live a very good life and I've been blessed. But a lot of this is not for me. I do it because it's my way of using the gifts that God has given me to help others and that comes from my father.”
What does being a father mean to you?
What it means to be a father means to provide for your children, not just physical comfort, but also emotional comfort as well as moral guidance. I try to set an example for my children of how they should conduct themselves and help guide them in their decisions, while letting them make their own decisions. It is often that we say you should do this, or you shouldn't do that, but in reality, all we can do is provide some guidance and knowledge based on our own experience, because in the end, our children have to make their own decisions to be able to lead their own lives. Being a father means to be supportive, loving, kind and most importantly, try to set an example so that they can then set that example for their children.
How does being a father help you to give excellent care to others as a surgeon?
I think being a father and a surgeon at the same time, for me, they go together. When I take care of a child who is suffering, it is not hard to then put yourself in the situation of that parent. Being able to relate at that level to the family makes it so that we can truly be able to provide more than just neurosurgical care, we can actually provide human care. I have a child who has autism, and through my experience with him, I've been able to better relate to a lot of the parents who have patients that have chronic or longstanding conditions.
Are any of your kids pursuing a career in health care?
My youngest son is studying behavioral neurosciences in the honors college at Florida State University. We would love for one of our kids to go to medical school, do nursing or something with health care, but in the end, they have to make their own decision. We try to show them and lead by example, but it’s up to them.
How do you bond with your family?
We always try to meet together whenever everyone is home and make it a point to all sit at the table and have discussions. We turn the phones off. It’s not always easy, especially being on call, but it’s important. We also have a policy at our house that all are welcome because we’re such a big family. Whenever the kids bring their own friends or girlfriends, they're all welcome at the table. We encourage everybody to come for meals or whatever. We also do a lot of boating and going to the beach together. On special occasions, we always make a point of celebrating, including everyone’s birthday — we’ll go to a restaurant together. The whole point is to interact together. Everybody has such different and busy lives and careers that it can be hard, so we make it a point to spend time together. Also, every winter, we go skiing with friends from medical school and their families and have done this since about 2005 when all the kids were really little taking ski lessons, and now today, they’re all skiing circles around us.
Visit Institute for Brain Protection Sciences to learn more about Rodriguez and the neurosurgery team.