A Lifetime Passion for Kids
Maggie Egbarts, M.D., always knew she wanted to be a doctor. Her personality led her to naturally care for others and she loved science. The decision to focus on children followed shortly after. “Even before I went to medical school, I knew I wanted to practice in pediatrics,” said Dr. Egbarts, “I have always loved children.”
Dr. Egbarts also knew early on that she wanted to live in her home state of Nebraska. She was born in Omaha, but raised in Waterloo. College took her to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and she earned her medical degree/doctorate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She then completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha.
When it came time to choose a place to settle down, she was looking for a smaller community in which to raise a family. “I completed my residency outstate rotation in Columbus and just fell in love with the place, so I stayed,” said Dr. Egbarts. She joined Columbus Children’s Healthcare in 2017, and also began working as a pediatric hospitalist at Columbus Community Hospital.
Equally Rewarding Practices
Dr. Egbarts enjoys all of her time working with children, both in clinic and in the hospital, for a variety of reasons. “Meeting healthy newborns and their parents is refreshing – they have a mix of optimism and nervousness that’s very endearing.” Dr. Egbarts said, “But I also love working with families in the hospital and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It’s challenging and interesting work, it engages a different part of your brain, and helping those little ones who require a higher acuity of care to get better is so rewarding.” Oftentimes, Dr. Egbarts will continue to see the children that she cared for in the hospital as a patient in her clinical practice. “Nothing beats seeing them grow into strong, healthy children,” she said.
Providing Care as Children Grow
Dr. Egbarts believes developing relationships and establishing a medical home for families is very important. “Medical homes help families and children stay healthy,” she said, “If you seek medical care from multiple providers, it is much more challenging to appropriately manage your care because it is difficult to know exactly how the illness presented or the full details of how your child was managed.” But managing treatment is only part of the story. “Working with a family over time builds trust, which is more important than ever,” said Dr. Egbarts, “There’s so much conflicting information out there, knowing there is one person you can trust to provide reliable information is so important when you have children.”
Dr. Egbarts is married with three young children of her own – which can be a handful when she’s also seeing children all day in clinic and at the hospital. Thankfully, she is never short of motivation. “The kids inspire and motivate me every day,” she said, “There are hard days and difficult cases, but at the end of the day, if I can help a child feel better, it keeps me going.”