So, like the smart son that he is, he asked his dad for help.
Good choice. His father is Dr. William (Bill) Dammert, a longtime pediatric general surgeon - and a logical choice to work with his son in an operating room.
Three years ago, in a semi-retirement role while living in the Dallas area, Bill Dammert took on first assistant work and began assisting friends in all surgical specialties. Now, he assists his son in Central Texas, too.
"I suspect this will be a regular occasion," said Mark Dammert. "He's ideal in the pediatric cases I see; however, he'll also assist with adult cases. With several decades of experience, my father can teach me, too."
However, Bill Dammert says he's not in the operating room to impart lessons to his son. That time is gone and he's there to support his son in his practice.
"For me it's a joy and one of the most wonderful things to work with my son," said Bill Dammert. "I am proud to watch him in action. He's well-trained, careful, meticulous and confident."
He added, "Ever since he was a young boy, Mark has possessed tremendous empathy. Friends used to seek him out when they had problems. This carries well into his practice. Mark takes his time with each patient and his interest in their well-being is sincere."
Bill Dammert raised his family in Dallas, where he practiced the majority of his career. Now, two of his three children live in the Austin area. While he continues to live in Dallas, he and his wife now have a townhouse in Austin to spend more time with their grandchildren, a one-year old and three who are four years old.
Their monthly visits may increasingly be timed around Mark Dammert's medical cases, but they'll leave time for "Grandpa" to take the kids to ride the train in Zilker Park.
"I grew up watching my father in action," said Mark Dammert. "I would join him on rounds or watch him in the operating room. Now that I'm in practice, it's nice to work alongside one another."
Pictured: Father and son in the
operating for the first case together in