From Patient to Chief: Dr. Michael Alexander’s journey from polio to rehab doctor

Today, we’re joined by Dr. Michael Alexander, retired Chief of Rehabilitation Services at the A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. Dr. Alexander has a long history at duPont, starting when he first set foot in the hospital as a patient at age 12 after contracting polio. As a teenager, he spent summers as an inpatient at the duPont Hospital, forming relationships and community with other children with disabilities and with the doctors and nurses working there. With encouragement from the lead physician at duPont, he decided to go to medical school at the University of Virginia and enter the emerging field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. After practicing in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Dr. Alexander returned to duPont, now the Nemours Children’s Hospital, as the Chief of Rehabilitative Medicine in 1986. He retired in 2013.

Click here to listen to the interview and/or read the transcript.

Dr. Alexander is a leader in the field of pediatric rehabilitation. While at duPont Hospital, he pioneered family-centered care, bringing families of children with disabilities into the discussions and planning of their medical care and rehab. He facilitated the transition at duPont from mostly providing inpatient care to focusing on outpatients, providing children with disabilities and diseases the care and supports they need to live at home and participate fully in their community.