Dr. Jonathan Strober is a pediatric neurologist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco. He specializes in treating children who have muscular dystrophy.
Why did you decide to become a doctor?
I originally wanted to be a veterinarian since I loved caring for animals. After working in a vet's office I realized I wanted more interaction with my patients so decided to become a physician.
Why did you decide to specialize in pediatric neuromuscular disorders?
I became very attached to a patient I was caring for during my pediatric internship. It turned out he had a very rare myopathy. I soon learned that it is a very special patient population overall. Also, the families tend to become big proponents for the patients and get very involved in raising awareness about the conditions and in fundraising. I find that it helps us work as a team rather than just being the child's doctor.
Why did you decide to specialize in caring for kids, rather than adults?
When I first stepped foot into a children's hospital during medical school I felt a unique energy that I never felt before. I thrived off that energy. I realized it comes from the kids themselves. Even when they have disabling diseases they never lose that childhood innocence that makes them so special.
What's your motto?
When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.
What may your patients be surprised to learn about you?
I like to knit.
What do you do when you're not caring for kids?
Spend time with my family and take care of our home, which now includes caring for and spending time with my daughter, Tallulah. I also love taking my "puppy" (4-year-old lab named George) to the beach and throwing the ball in the ocean so he can chase after it and ride some waves. I can't wait until Tallulah is old enough to play with George and me at the beach. And I hate to admit I'm a big reality TV junkie; some of my favorites include "American Idol," "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance." I also love to cook big meals for my family and friends.
What's the best part of being a doctor?
Being there for my patients and families when they need me the most.
If you weren't a doctor, what would you be?
I almost became an actor, but thought I'd be a really bad waiter.
If you could change one thing about medicine today, what would it be?
Insurance! Some of my patients can't get the testing they need because their insurance won't cover it or the lab can't bill the insurance and the family can't afford to lay out the money.
Who are your favorite heroes in medicine/ health care?
My patients and their families are my biggest heroes. They never cease to amaze me as they keep going on no matter what life throws at them.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Medicine is my real life! I'd have to say my dad. He did everything he could to spend as much time with me while I was growing up. That's made me a better person and hopefully a better father to my new daughter, Tallulah Grace Strober-Holt.