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Issue Date: March 2008 Issue


Best Doctors - Dr. Rothner

Dr. A. David Rothner
Pediatric neurology
Cleveland Clinic

Kristen Hampshire
What he does:
Rothner focuses on headaches and migraines in children and adolescents, and a genetic disease called neurofibromatosis. He also teaches 70 courses per year for patients and parents as director of patient education for the Cleveland Clinic.

Why medicine?
“I helped raise two little sisters — I was one of five kids — and I love kids. I learned that there was a specialty called pediatric neurology, and it was a match —something I loved to do and I happen to be very good at it.”

Admitting the unknown:
“I emphasize what we can do to help, but I’m honest and say, ‘There is a lot we don’t know.’ I tell my residents to go home and practice saying, ‘I don’t know’ in front of the mirror.”

His worst health habit:
“It used to be smoking the pipe. I stopped that 15 years ago. I eat too much of everything —my wife reads me those diet books, and I say to myself, ‘Gotta do better.’”

Last piece of health advice he took:
“ ‘Rothner, lose weight.’ That was from my cardiologist.”

“House,” “Grey’s Anatomy” or “ER”?
“I like ‘Antiques Roadshow.’ I collect old advertising cards for remedies and medicines like Carter’s Little Liver Pills. And if there was a degree in crime scene investigation like ‘CSI,’ I’d get a Ph.D. in it because I like those programs.”

His longest wait to see a doc?
“I had to get a physical before I was hired here. I went in for the appointment, got undressed and waited — and waited. After a half hour, I got dressed, walked out and said to the nurse, ‘Tell my doctor that my time is at least as valuable as his.’ ”

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