Dr. Athaide and his family enjoy the high energy at NightShift, a signature fundraising event for Lakeridge Health Foundation
Dr. Greg Athaide's Story
Department Chief and Medical Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Lakeridge Health shares his experiences
Dr. Athaide is the Department Chief and Medical Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Lakeridge Health. He is also one of our fearless front line heroes caring for his patients and their new bundles of joy. We had the honour of speaking with him about his critical role at our Hospital, and his life at home with his beautiful family!
When did you join Lakeridge Health? What inspires you as a health care worker?
I've been practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology at Lakeridge Health since 2009.
I am fortunate to be able to help a couple through the scary but memorable moment of becoming parents. That look in their eyes as they see their child for the first time is amazing. I'm blessed to be able to be a part of their experience and to help ensure that they remain healthy through the process. Plus, it reminds me of meeting my children for the first time!
What makes you a proud father?
I have three daughters who each have incredible personalities. It's intriguing watching them take shape into individuals, incorporating direction and showing personal growth. You know you've taught them a lot when they start calling you out on doing things against your own teaching.
I'm especially thankful that they share my love for food!
What has been your most memorable memory as a father so far?
There have been so many and they only raise the memory bar with each passing year! The time is just blowing by. I remember hanging out with them while my wife was attending a family wedding in England. They were so into routines thanks to my amazing wife who runs a tight ship. I am completely the opposite and just want to have fun while getting things done. I had a colposcopy clinic starting at the Hospital at 7:30 AM the next morning, and I had no clue how I was going to get the three of them up and ready and to daycare in time. So I told them that we were going to play a game where we went to bed in our clothes for the next day. They weren't having any part of it and were demanding pajamas! It took me forever to convince them, way more time than it would have taken to just change them in the morning. But, it shaved off an easy 10 minutes the next morning!
I also cherish the memory where one day I was emotional in the church that my late father used to take us to as kids. Memories of my father came rushing back and I think it was the first time that I confronted the fact that I missed him. The next thing I knew, my children were comforting me. I think that was the first time in our father-child relationships that I was the one in need and they got to take a turn helping me.
What advice would you give a new dad?
Simple... You can't spend too much time with your kids! (I need to follow more of my own advice!)
A little less simple – share stories of your failures and what you learned from them. You'll be surprised by how much they'll be interested and how much you'll grow together.
How have things changed for you at home and at work during COVID-19?
My clinical work as an Obstetrician is not any slower, but is quite different. I'm providing a lot more care virtually via videoconferencing.
As Chief and Medical Director, the work exploded with the pandemic. New policies and procedures had to be created, and then re-created every other day as we learned more and more.
Being in the hospital environment is not as relaxed as it used to be as a provider. You're worried about your health, your family's health, all while taking care of your patient's health.
Home life is completely different with no school. Trying to keep the kids on top of their education and other activities is like a full time job in and of itself. Thankfully I've got that tight ship running wife!
There have been some upsides to the pandemic at home though. I love cooking and have been able to do a lot more and have a different kid help me each time. Creating a new meal together has been fun. And we've been trying to take advantage of the better weather and we've started running. Recently, I ran 12 KM for the first time ever. It was the longest distance I've ever done. I felt proud until my nine-year-old said it's the longest distance she's ever done!
What would you like to share with those in our community who have donated to support our Hospital?
Profound appreciation. It really has been motivating the way in which our community has supported our workers throughout the hospital. Thank you!
How do you plan on celebrating Father’s Day this year?
I will start my day with just black coffee as usual, but hopefully someone else will make it for me! (Possibly not, I'm quite particular!)
We will go to church for the first time in many months. Will be interesting to see how that experience will be different, but a welcome reintroduction.
Then I'll definitely eat (love that food!) - excited to see what my family has got on the menu!
Finally, we plan to cap things off with a family bike ride.... Looking forward to it!