“To be honest, I never really thought about becoming a doctor when I was younger,” admits Daniel Gottesman, Dr. Ron Gottesman’s middle child. Midway through finishing his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at McGill University, Daniel became very interested in biomedical engineering. “I started thinking of ways I could combine technology and medicine,” he says. “Some of my friends suggested I do a PhD in biomedical engineering, but I was more interested in the clinical side of things. I wanted to practice medicine so I could better understand patients and therefore design technologies that would be truly beneficial for them.” And thus, Daniel’s medical journey began.
Even as a child, Daniel was curious about everything around him. He was always putting things together and taking them apart. He wanted to know how they worked and accomplished that by removing every single bit and bolt from broken appliances around the house. “We still have jars full of bolts and screws in our basement,” laughs Dr. Gottesman. “When I was younger, I would also take things apart, but I was never able to put them back together!” Before throwing out a broken toaster or dysfunctional telephone, Daniel’s grandparents would give it to him first to investigate. He would then use the scraps to build robots and other motorized devices. “When I was ten, I built a miniature boat from old motors and a battery from a camcorder,” recalls Daniel. “And, I used lots of duct tape!”
Eventually Daniel’s innate curiosity and ingenuity led him to start asking his father about the mechanics involved in his line of work as a Pediatric Critical Care specialist. “He wanted to know what I did for a living and how did all these machines work,” says Dr. Gottesman. Now in his second year of medical school at McGill, Daniel is still trying to figure out what he would eventually like to specialize in. “It definitely has to involve technology and lots of problem-solving,” he says. With plenty of time ahead for him to decide, Dr. Gottesman is certain he’ll make the right decision. “I even gave Daniel my old stethoscope from when I was in med school,” he says. “And, I’m honoured that he has adopted it as his own.”