An academic background in Sociology and Public Health has served as a catalyst for Dr. Dodds Simangan’s approach to pediatric medicine. That educational framework, led to an understanding that medicine and community are directly intertwined. During medical school, he took part in a service-centered education model, training in underserved areas of Hawai'i and volunteering in social justice and community outreach organizations.
Those experiences in Hawai'i led to his interests in patient advocacy and public policy with the desire to improve pediatric care and the community.
“I wanted to combine medicine with what I learned as an undergraduate sociology major, a master’s degree in public health, and a doctorate in osteopathic medicine,” he said. “And the best way to incorporate all three was in an academic setting. Physicians can sometimes be narrowly focused only on the disease and solely on how it affects the individual; however, from my experiences, I realized that it is also important to see how the society and community factors influence health and well-being, and to have a whole-person approach.”
He views his role as a physician as a healer, an advocate, and an educator. He is committed to improving the health of individual patients and the health of the community, while at the same time teaching resident physicians.
“I believe physicians in training need to understand their community and its impact on his/her patients because it’s through that understanding that we can truly gain the ability to help our patients,” he said. “There is that X factor in medicine which includes the art of medicine. We have to work with people and understand their personal and social situations in order to improve them, and that is what makes our profession unique.”
In addition to serving as a General Pediatrician at the UNLV Pediatrics clinic, Dr. Simangan is the rotation director for Community Pediatrics and Pediatric Advocacy, section Co-Chief of the newborn nursery, director of the Continuity Clinic, and is also the Pediatric Residency Associate Program Director.
He is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics with involvements in the Nevada AAP Chapter, and was formerly an executive board member and co-chairperson of Child Advocacy.