(continued from page 29) “I believe the Filipino language is not sufficient to describe or teach the field of medicine. Even in law, the way Filipinos talk in court is mostly in English. So there was not really a language barrier when we moved here,” Dr. Balatbat said. Dr. Balatbut eats with his wife, Grace Maria, and son, Lucas. Originally, the stay in America was only going to last a year, but Dr. Balatbat’s friend and mentor, Dr. Mushtaque Juneja, began to convince him otherwise. Although the fellowship officially began at U of L, most of the work was done at Norton downtown where Dr. Juneja was practicing as chief of obstetric anesthesia. “He was and is my mentor,” said Dr. Balatbat. “His role was not only showing me how to practice obstetric anesthesia, but also how to truly care for sick pregnant patients. He taught me his life experience at the same time. He treated me as his family and taught me all the experiences he had in medicine and in life.” Today, the two physicians still work closely at Norton Suburban where Dr. Balatbat began practicing in 2001. Dr. Larry Griffin, who delivered hundreds and hundreds of babies in the company of Dr. Balatbat, said, “I have worked with many great anesthesiologists, but there is no one whom I‘d trust more in a difficult case. His ability to deal with any problem that might arise, his professionalism and kindness that always show his focus is only on the patient’s care and well-being in that moment: these are the qualities that lead us, doctors and patients both, to trust and respect him so much. On staff, he provided the leadership that led to improving our obstetric services in so many ways. I consider him one of the finest in his field, a highly valued colleague, and a trusted friend.” “When my wife and I moved to downtown Louisville, it was a very quiet city. We found it strange to see downtown so quiet and empty during weekends, not like in San Francisco where all the people are out,” said Dr. Balatbat. “But, overall, I think it’s a safe place to live and a good place to raise a family.” In 2003, The Balatbats welcomed their son, Lucas, at Norton Suburban. He didn’t practice that day, however. “I wasn’t an anesthesiologist that day- just a father and a husband.” Although much of Dr. Balatbat’s time is devoted to his practice, he and his family love to travel and have been on several one-of-akind trips including Italy, France and China. Over the 2015 holidays, 30 LOUISVILLE MEDICINE they traveled to the Philippines for three weeks to see family and friends, as well as celebrate his in-laws’ 60th wedding anniversary. In his spare time, Dr. Balatbat still reads history and biographical novels. He has recently begun Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing” series. He practices with Obstetric Anesthesia Consultants, an independent office based in Norton Suburban. “While most of my time is geared toward my career and practice, I’m thankful I have a very understanding and supportive wife who is always there to listen to my successes and failures, also a son who brings us joy every day.” Aaron Burch is the communications specialist for the Greater Louisville Medical Society.