Raising North Dakota: Farewell and thank you, Dr. Steve!

Good Day Dakota

Our children are everything to us, so when it comes to finding the right pediatrician for our kids, it’s not always an easy, quick process.
So when you find the right doc, it can be a relief.

In this week’s segment of Raising North Dakota, Alysia Huck joins dozens of families in a farewell to a beloved doctor who is set to retire, for the second time!

A feather out of place, but that’s okay!

Pediatrician Dr. Stephen McDonough, also known as Dr. Steve, has helped countless kids with a “feather out of place” over his 40-plus year career in medicine, and now that chapter of his life is coming to a close.

In a recent post, he shared a photo he had taken of a majestic American Bald Eagle with a caption reading,

“Most of my 40-year career, I have worked with children who had a feather out of place, they had a condition that made them special, but that was OK. They were still beautiful, courageous, and majestic and worth fighting for, as were their parents!”

Parents and kids alike would say that Dr. Steve is a one-of-a-kind pediatrician, and finding another doctor to fill his shoes will be no easy feat.

Bismarck mom Toby Lunstad has taken her kids to Dr. Steve for years, and her daughter Addilynn agrees with mom.

Toby exclaims, “She loves him! We walk into Independent Doctors and she starts giggling, he’s the only one she’ll open her mouth for (giggle from Addilynn).”

A common trait that most families have come to appreciate is Dr. Steve’s ability to listen, and he even stressed the importance of listening to those he taught, once saying…

“Always listen to the mom, the mom knows, mom knows you need to listen to them and help them figure it out,” Toby says. “It’s at the core of what he does, valuing parents and what they have to say and helping them find answers.”

Jennifer Restemayer and her daughter Allison say it wasn’t only the parents he listened to.

“Some pediatricians they don’t always listen to what their patients actually need and so I am a really big fan of Dr. McDonough,” Allison says.

“His advocacy wasn’t just local, he cared about all kids and wanted to be sure all kids had the opportunity to be healthy no matter what they needed,” explains Jennifer, “and his advocacy went all the way to the federal level, and I’m so proud of him for that.”

Now with Dr. Steve is moving on to his next adventure, and families bidding him farewell and well wishes in the form of a parade, families will be seeking out new pediatricians.

Jennifer knows that process is not easy.

“There is something about the way Dr. McDonough will dig in and really try to find some explanation or answers to a problem, or even just some things to try and to have that much effort go into her care and to have that level of partnership that we had, it’s not the same,” Jennifer says. “Dr. McDonough is just a class act, he is in a league of his own.”

And that sentiment is shared by parents across the board, agreeing that Dr. Stephen McDonough is indeed one-of-a-kind.

While he’s retiring as a pediatrician, his wheels are always turning, and I assure you, there is much more to come from Dr. Stephen McDonough.

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