It’s June, so we’re celebrating you, Valley fathers. This month, we’re spotlighting a dynamic dad… someone who is both a rock star at work, and at home. Meet Dr. Matthew Abrams, a medical mastermind and musician.
When Dr. Matthew Abrams gets home from work, he surrenders his scrubs for something more comfy, then heads into his haven: a room full of guitars. That’s where he unwinds- strumming to Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and ACDC. Often times, his sons (2 and 4 years old) will watch him, dancing around to dad’s rock and roll addiction.
If you’ve ever birthed a baby at Scottsdale HonorHealth, you’ve likely crossed paths with Dr. Abrams, the Medical Director of Neonatology and Chair of Pediatrics. His resume flaunts immense medical experience, which is why the doc has worked his way to heading the NICU as lead Neonatologist with MEDNAX Services, Inc. He’s a father of five, husband, and rock star at work andat home… clearly an A-list guy to feature for Father’s Day.
Dr. Abrams moved to Phoenix in 2004. Before doing his pediatrics clerkship during medical school, Matt had no interest in working the NICU; however, after spending one week in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit- he found his calling.
Dr. Abrams spends his days with babies- often those born premature or with complications. He flaunts a calm, collected demeanor, aiding families with compassion during any given NICU journey. Some babies are in his care for hours, while others- for months.
“What I love most about my job is the fascinating physiology and pathology that I deal with along with the difference I that can make in families’ lives. People entrust you to care for their precious babies and I do not take that lightly. I love being able to interact with the families and know that I have been able to make a difference in their lives.”
Sure, the job comes with challenges. Caring for newborns is arguably the most important job there is. However, Dr. Abrams handles medical stress just fine; it’s the balance of being a doctor, a father, a husband, and a struggling musician.
“I sleep at the hospital at least five nights a month and often work weekends. I’m not always home to put the kids to bed or be there when they wake. Many people take their nights and weekends for granted whereas mine have to be planned well in advance.”
With that being said, he’s a rock star dad. His parenting style is pretty cool and kind of old fashion; encouraging in his kids’ independence, fueling their individual hobbies, and not over-doing it when it comes to loading them up on after-school activities. In other words, he wants his kids to be kids.
“I try to show them love and support and accept them for who they are; that is, while still providing boundaries.”
And take it from the father of five- he’s mastered boundaries. His advice to working dads: at some point you need to draw the line between work and family and prioritize your family and your kids.
The great thing about this dynamic dad, though, is that he has a really awesome outlet: music. Consider it a healthy addiction… he has over 20 guitars, drums, and more. To the strumming doctor, each has a different look, feel and sound. He started took to the hobby over 30 years ago and fell in love with playing hits and crafting songs.
“I play the drums and guitar nearly every day. There is no right or wrong. It’s just feeling.”
A feeling like no other- especially when he lands gigs. In fact, Matt is in a band with some other local guys (some being fellow doctors!).
“We all have busy lives but try to book as many gigs as we can. I am not interested in music only as hobby; I take it very seriously… I write songs and want to play for people. Being on stage is beautiful, big rush.”
When he’s not working, playing music, or guitar shopping (SHHHH, don’t tell his wife!), Matt can be found savoring the Valley sun, fueling his fitness buff side, or fulfilling yet another passion: finding the best Bourbon. Yep, he’s a self-proclaimed Bourbon aficionado of 7+ years.
“I have a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 12 yr. I’m waiting to open on my 50thbirthday.”
Well consider this our North Phoenix Family Magazine toast to you, Matt- for being a dynamic doctor, awesome dad, dedicated husband, and killer musician.
Written by: Nadine Bubeck
Nadine Bubeck is a TV Personality, author, lifestyle blogger, and fashion designer, having founded Mama B. Designs: boutique apparel that benefits March of Dimes. The Valley-based parenting contributor is a blessed boy mom times three. (nadinebubeck.com)