Inside the Level III NICU with director Asif Khattak, MD
Dr. Asif Khattak, director of the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Hunt Regional Medical Center chief of staff, talks about caring for our smallest patients.
What makes Hunt Regional special?
Hunt Regional Medical Center, though still a hospital for its community, is not a small, community hospital. It has transformed into a big-city-like referral center. The maternity center is unique because we get to provide care for two patients in the same family at once.
What sets a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit apart from Level I and Level II NICUs?
A Level III NICU is capable of handling the most complex neonatal cases. NICUs are categorized into Level1 for normal newborn infants requiring additional nursing care, Level II for moderately ill infants, and Level III for the most complex and critically ill babies.
What made you want to become a neonatologist?
It became apparent to me during medical school that pediatrics was close to my heart. I enjoyed my neonatology rotations during my pediatrics residency and therefore decided to pursue a fellowship in neonatal perinatal medicine.
What was the most difficult part of your training?
I went through an intense neonatology training program at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. I was lucky to have been trained by world-class leaders in the field of neonatology.
What is your favorite part about your job?
The babies that we take care of are very fragile, yet extremely tough. I love how they grow and mature in front of you.
What do you enjoy doing outside the hospital?
I love my work and it keeps me very busy. I also enjoy outdoors, sports, music, cooking, and traveling.