Provider Spotlight: Meet Dr. Steve Fishman

Dr. Steve Fishman holds a patient
Steven Fishman, MD, is chief of the Department of Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital and a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. He’s been at Boston Children’s for 28 years.

How did you become interested in pediatric surgery? 

I became interested in pediatric surgery when I was first exposed to a dedicated and talented surgeon as a medical student in Chicago. I realized that children never deserved to suffer and that the opportunity to help them could have benefits that last a lifetime. I was also attracted to the wide variety of conditions pediatric surgeons get to treat. We address many different problems and operate on many areas of the body.

What were your previous roles at the hospital?

For the past four years, I’ve served as the Physician’s Organization president and senior vice-president for Access and Business Services of the hospital. I transitioned to my new role as the chief of the Department of Surgery in July 2019.

Are you excited to shift to your new role as chief of surgery? 

Yes! I love patient care, operating, and teaching. Before I got involved in administrative leadership roles, I was one of the busiest clinical surgeons in the hospital. In the past few years I’ve had to restrict my elective clinics and operations to mostly vascular anomalies. Once I get settled in my new role, I hope to be able to go back to doing a little more general surgery. Believe it or not, I really miss fixing a hernia (and teaching others to do so). 

I also look forward to having much more direct personal interactions with the faculty I serve. I know them all and relish the opportunity to become closer with each of them, giving me the chance to understand their individual passions and needs. 

What’s your most memorable moment at Boston Children’s?

Years ago, we had a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who was a pound. Miraculously, he survived. One day several years ago, I was sitting in my office when my assistant came in to tell me that there was a young man who wanted to meet me. I went out to the front desk and looked up, and I mean up. Standing in front of me was a 6 foot, 6 inch strapping young man, and he said, “I’ve grown up all my life with my mom telling me what you did for me.” It’s hard to forget that moment.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

For the past 25 years, my wife, Laurie, and I spent most of our nonprofessional time raising our kids. Now that they are all grown and no longer live in Boston, we are starting to find some hobbies. We’re having fun cooking a couple meals a week together, which, for me, is a completely new experience. I am finding that it is slightly easier than chemistry class.

What might people not know about you?

I’ve developed a passion for building replica race cars. One of our sons got me hooked and our first project is street legal and I drive it on a nice day. Although my son and his friends did 80 percent of the work on this one, I’m getting ready to try a slightly simpler one without him. It will probably take me a decade.

Learn more about the Department of Surgery.

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