A Moment with Michael Brady, MD
While still in medical school, Michael T. Brady, MD, knew he wanted to work with children. And it was because of two important people in his life he made the decision to come to what was then called Columbus Children’s Hospital. His preceptor for the pediatric primary care clinic in medical school had trained in Columbus and he had wonderful things to say about Columbus Children’s Hospital and Columbus. Dr. Brady’s wife hailed from Columbus and she was very proud of the hospital. In 1979, Dr. Brady completed his two-year residency here and then went on to Texas Children’s as an Infectious Diseases Fellow.
When asked about his most memorable experience while training at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Brady says that there were many, but there was a theme that stood out: camaraderie. “Everyone had each other’s back. All of the residents worked together and also did a lot outside of the hospital.” With Dr. Roger Friedman as the social director, the group attended events and formed athletic teams, such as softball. When Dr. Brady returned to Columbus, he renewed his resident friendship. When his family went out with the group, his children would say, “We are going with our doctor friends,” when talking about their activities. Dr. Brady cherishes the friendships formed back then and they are still strong today. In particular his friendships with Drs. Roger Friedman, Richard Petrella, Gregory Barrett, Mary McIlroy and Rob Forsythe.
Also enduring since the days of his residency is Dr. Brady’s passion for infectious diseases medicine. When nearing completion of medical school, and having matched in Columbus, Dr. Brady decided to participate in a six-week rotation in infectious diseases at Columbus Children’s Hospital. He was impressed with how being an infectious diseases physician is a lot like being a detective. Because of the wide array of conditions, there is not a designated set of go-to procedures or diagnostic tests. A great deal of time must be spent with the patient and their family collecting a history and evaluating all of the different signs and symptoms before identifying the diagnosis and the best possible treatment. And the effort is absolutely rewarding. Dr. Brady remembers treating two young children with meningococcemia who were critically ill. After being on the appropriate antibiotics regimen for three days, the children had recovered such that he was able to play with them.
Just as Dr. Brady values the longevity of his friendships formed back in his training days, he values the longevity he has experienced with his HIV infected patients and their families. When you go to the clinic and a patient runs down the hall and hugs you – it is a great feeling and unique to pediatrics. When you see patients on an ongoing basis, you get to see them grow up and start families of their own.” Not only are children with HIV surviving, they are thriving. Today, we can prevent the children of our HIV patients from becoming infected,” Dr. Brady shares.
There was a point in time when the career path that Dr. Brady traveled nearly took a different direction. When he returned to Columbus following his fellowship at Texas Children’s, he thought his career would be in research, and he began developing a lab to focus on cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. At that time, Dr. Brady was on inpatient service when the first AIDS patient was admitted. A few months later, the second AIDS patient was admitted when he was on service again. He was also beginning to see more hemophilia patients with AIDS and became known as the “AIDS expert”. He became deeply involved with clinical care and research through the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group.
More recently, he was elected to serve on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases (Redbook committee) and chaired the committee, from 2010 through 2014. He then served as the associate editor of the Red Book in 2015 and 2018 and will serve again in 2021. Dr. Brady served as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s and The Ohio State University, from 2005 to 2013 After stepping down as chair, he became involved with the patient and employee safety zero hero program. Since 2016, Brady has been serving as Nationwide Children’s interim Physician Director of Epidemiology while continuing to see patients in the HIV clinic.
Throughout his career, Brady has not only maintained friendships from his training days, but also collaborative partnerships. Dr. Friedman played an instrumental role in helping Dr. Brady establish a full time allergy and immunology program at the hospital to supplement the volunteer services provided by community allergists such as Dr. Friedman. Another long lasting collaborative relationship is with Dr. William J. Barson, Section Chief of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Barson was serving as a fellow at the time that Dr. Brady was doing his training here. He encouraged Dr. Brady with his career choice. Dr. Katalin Koranyi who was head of the ambulatory department when Dr. Brady was a resident eventually went on to help him with the HIV clinic. She served as his mentor when he was a resident, and later they became partners. Dwight Powell MD was the Division Chief of Infectious Diseases when Dr. Brady returned to Columbus after his fellowship. He was a great leader, mentor, clinician and teacher. Octavio Ramilo MD is currently the Division Chief of Infectious Diseases and he has created a world class division of infectious diseases.
When asked what the “today” Dr. Brady would say to the “resident” Dr. Brady, he responds that when opportunities arise, to make the most of them. “I have taken a number of different turns in my career and every time there has been a little bit of a risk. For the most part, there is a huge value in trying to broaden what you do and trying to find the things you like the most. It is important to always put your family first because they are your biggest responsibility. It is definitely possible to have a strong and enjoyable family life and a satisfying professional life that keeps you excited and maintains the feeling that you can make a difference.”