Dean T. Odegard, MD, is a pediatrician at Arch Pediatrics.
Dr. Odegard sees patients at:
3844 South Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63127
Please call 314-525-0580 for an appointment.
What during your training led you to pediatrics?
I chose pediatrics because of the wide range of change from infancy to young adulthood. There’s so much meaning in the word “growth”—the development of bodies, new mental, social and emotional skills. It is a joy to see a newborn on their first day home from the hospital and in the next room, an 18-year-old about to start their first day of college.
What brought you to Washington University?
I was thrilled to be accepted at WashU for medical school. When looking into medical training, I wanted somewhere not only big enough to attract referrals for specialized pediatric care, but also small enough to have excellent mentoring and plenty of teaching opportunities. I liked that St. Louis Children’s Hospital gets patients from a diverse population. The cherry on top was to have access to such a quality program while staying near family, since my wife and I had our first child while I was in medical school. When offered a job with Washington University Clinical Associates (WUCA) after training, I jumped at it.
Which aspect of being a pediatrician appeals to you the most?
In pediatrics, we have a great opportunity to impact a child’s life by teaching them healthy habits early on. If I can recognize a developmental delay and connect them with the right resources, diagnose ADHD or depression as the cause of slipping grades, or prevent illness with a vaccination, I can improve a child’s quality of life. It’s a humbling responsibility.
Tell us more about your interest in getting kids outdoors.
There is a lot of research that shows children spending time in nature makes them mentally and physically healthier. It also encourages them in efforts to protect the environment. I’m passionate about getting kids get outside because it will boost health for them, their families and the world.
What about sports-related injuries interests you?
Growing up, I enjoyed many sports, from basketball to pole vaulting, and was lucky enough to compete in NCAA Division 1 track and field. I understand how tough it can be when an injury side-lines an athlete who wants nothing more than to get back onto the court or the track. Treating bone and muscle injuries is an important focus for me.
Are there any other new developments in your field that you are excited about?
I am excited about the new medicine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which has shown promise at preventing serious illnesses from RSV in otherwise healthy babies. Every year, we send babies to the hospital for RSV, and it would be incredible to see less of that and protect our vulnerable newborns.
Where are you from?
College aside, I have lived in St. Louis since middle school, including graduate school at Saint Louis University and medical training at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. I’m fortunate to have a lot of family here. St. Louis is a wonderful place to raise a family, and I am thrilled to be in practice at Arch Pediatrics.
Which particular award or achievement is most gratifying?
I received a few teaching awards as a graduate student and pediatric resident. I enjoy teaching because I love to see how new understanding of a topic can inspire change in a learner, and because it helps me pay forward all the great teaching from which I’ve benefitted over the years.
If you weren’t a doctor, what would you like to be doing?
I’d be a wildlife veterinarian, ideally stationed at a National Park somewhere: one part medicine and physiology, one part ecology and conservation, one part education and one part Indiana Jones.