Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 177 | September 20, 2022

A Life Dedicated to Babies

Dr. Gregor Alexander

Neonatologist at Orlando Health


Welcome to Difficult Conversations with Dr. Anthony Orsini. This interview was recorded over a year ago and for reasons best not discussed were not been able to make it live. Well the big day is finally here. Today, you are in for a real treat because my special guest is a true legend and a local hero in the field of Neonatology here in Central Florida and in the country. He is a hero not only because of his accomplishments, but because of the positive impact that he has left on so many lives and families. My guest today is Dr. Gregor Alexander, who is a friend, a former partner, and someone whom I’ve learned a great deal from. He has treated more than 45,000 critically ill newborns and has touched the lives of countless other families and children through his work with Orlando Health and the Arnold Palmer Foundation. He has been locally and nationally recognized by organizations such as March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network, and the American Institute for Public Service, to name a few. His relationship with Arnold Palmer and the work they’ve done together is a story he will share today. His story is so inspirational and interesting that Gregor is currently working on a book about his life as a Baby Doctor and what it means to truly live a purposeful life.

Gregor shares with us an incredible story about his family, living in Columbia, becoming a doctor, and how he ended up in the United States. He tells us about coming to Central Florida, working in a tiny NICU, and becoming the director. He talks about the miracle that came to him in 1981, which was Arnold Palmer, who helped with making a dream come true in 1989 to open the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. We also learn about the dream and planning of building the Winnie Palmer Hospital. Gregor goes into detail about the relationship he formed with Arnold Palmer over the years and why he called him the “King of Hearts.” Dr. Orsini talks about meeting Arnold Palmer, how he changed the game of golf, and how humble he was. Gregor tells us about the survival rates of babies back in 1975 and how scary it was. We hear Gregor’s philosophy on having that human connection with the families of premature babies, how he takes great pleasure and honor taking care of babies, and how he uses humor to start his relationships with the families. Also, find out why he says we are becoming “emotional billionaires.” Dr. Orsini brings up the importance of finding commonality. Gregor shares with us what he’s currently doing in his life, which includes mission trips, caring for babies, and writing a book about his life that he hopes will be an inspiration to people not only in the medical field, but for people that come to this country and have a dream and want to succeed like he did. Check out Dr. Alexander's upcoming book "The Baby Doctor"

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