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“It’s great to be able to take care of patients and, hopefully, see them do well,” said the 38-year-old Montgomery, Ala., native. “But when you train someone who will also go out and do [pediatric surgeries], ... there’s something very lasting about that.”
Dassinger is an assistant professor of pediatric surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. In July, he will be promoted to associate professor.
He also is the associate program director for the Pediatric Surgery Training Program at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, which is one of 37 in the country.
Dassinger also trains general surgery residents from UAMS, gives lectures and is a faculty adviser to two or three students annually.
He has re-ceived a number of honors and awards, including placement on the ACH Patient Satisfaction Dean’s List in 2011 and the Red Sash Award from the UAMS for excellence in teaching in 2010.
At ACH, Dassinger handles minimally invasive surgeries for conditions such as congenital diaphragmatic hernias.
For as long as he could remember, Dassinger wanted to be a doctor. “I don’t know why,” he said. “I just always wanted to.”
He received his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham in 2000 and did his postdoctoral training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis.
Dassinger said he feels like he was called to be a physician.
“I love my job,” Dassinger said. “It’s very much an honor to take care of kids and for patients’ families to trust you to take care of their child.”