Growing up, Dr. Marissa Watson dreamed of becoming the president of the United States of America. Though her life and desires eventually took a different path, she is living out her dream of serving the people of this country and making a huge impact in their lives through medicine.
As our newest pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, Mansfield, she is leading the charge for healthy kids by treating infants, children and teens with minor to acute medical conditions. In this role, she’s excited about the opportunity to provide care and support from a whole body approach, and watch children grow and be accountable for their healthy development into adults.
Just as the leader of this country strives to achieve, Dr. Watson’s goal is to develop trust between herself and each and every patient so they are comfortable being examined, asking questions and coming back to the doctor for all of their medical needs. After all, a strong doctor-patient relationship is vital for all kids’ healthy growth and development.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
Akron Children’s provided me the opportunity to return to the community where I grew up and give back to a place that has always been home. Everyone I encountered while interviewing at Akron Children’s was welcoming and kind-hearted, which was exactly the type of place I desired to work. Working amongst like-minded people whose priority is serving children and their families is an opportunity that I found through Akron Children’s and I am excited to take part in such a great organization.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish?
I will be working as a pediatrician in Akron Children’s Urgent Care, Mansfield. My goal is to ease parents’ minds and provide a route for their children to be seen during off hours when their primary care pediatrician is not working. Instead of having to go to the ER for minor problems, I hope to provide care to these families that can be quickly seen and treated appropriately by a pediatrician.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
I am a general pediatrician. This role allows me to provide care to families from a whole body system approach where I have the opportunity to watch children grow and be accountable for their healthy development into adults. I wanted to be able to develop a relationship with my patients where I could see them on a routine basis and provide care and support through all stages of their childhood. A general pediatrician role affords me this opportunity.
What impression do you hope to leave with your patients each day?
I hope to leave my patients with a feeling of comfort and trust. With a warm and gentle approach to communicating with families, I desire to foster a strong relationship with them where they are comfortable asking questions and coming to the doctor for all of their medical needs.
How does your personality fit your role?
I have a kind, gentle demeanor. This personality allows me to easily connect with my pediatric patients who sense a warmth and ease, making our encounters a lot easier because they are more comfortable being examined and seeing the doctor. It also provides a sense of trust that patients and families have in their doctor and helps promote seeing the doctor when needed and being compliant with treatment instructions.
What do you think is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is delivering undesired news to a family. There is nothing worse than having to give negative or unfortunate information to families, such as a cancer diagnoses or limited ability to treat conditions. As a physician, we desire to completely heal and treat ailments, but sometimes this isn’t possible and it’s these circumstances that are the hardest to deal with.
How do you deal with the emotional impact of being a provider?
My faith and relationship with the Lord help me stay strong and grounded when faced with tough circumstances. Through prayer, time spent in reflection and studying the Word, I am rooted in a foundation that gives me strength and encouragement to face the hard days and welcome all of the good ones.
What does success mean to you?
Success is any attempt at reaching a set goal. Even if the end goal isn’t reached or the outcome ends up different than expected, if you took the initiative and effort to achieve a desired accomplishment, then that is still success. A potentially different path may have come about from setting that goal and placed you in the exact spot where you were meant to be.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child, I wanted to be the president of the United States. I thought this job was a neat opportunity to serve the people of our country and offered me the ability to make a huge difference in people’s lives. However, somewhere down the line I fell in love with science and the idea of becoming a physician to serve people through medicine became more desirable.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I would love to travel to at least 50 countries. I’ve currently been to roughly 20 countries, so I still have a number to go! But traveling is my passion, so I have confidence that I will be able to achieve this bucket list as I get older and have the opportunity to visit new places.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
I love being outdoors. When I’m not working, you can find me outside running, gardening, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking and fishing, just to name a few. There is just something about being one with nature and enjoying all of its sights and smells.
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
I love exploring new countries and experiencing new cultures. Any place that has neat sightseeing opportunities and diverse foods to taste is always high on my list to visit. There are so many places and things to see in this world, and it’s my goal to experience as many of them as possible. If I truly had to choose my favorite spot, it would be Italy. No matter how many times I go, there is just something about the food, culture, views and smells that make it feel a little bit like heaven on earth.
What skill would you like to master?
I love to sing, but I don’t play an instrument very well to accompany myself. So, I would love to be able to master playing the piano, guitar or violin. Then, I would greatly enjoy writing songs that I could then sing while playing one of these instruments.