Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

The Doctor Is Always In

Shimmy Blum

Dr. Reuven (Robert) Shanik, Lakewood’s indefatigable pediatrician, sees hundreds of little patients every day and has a round-the-clock open-door policy. His entire file cabinet of cases is stored in his head, and although he makes a diagnosis in a flash, parents already know that he’s always on target. But his medical genius notwithstanding, Dr. Reuven and Rochel Shanik have created more than a home of awards and accomplishments. Their living room, across the street from BMG, is Lakewood’s hub of chesed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It’s already past 2 a.m., and we’re having a relaxed schmooze in the Shanik living room – one of Lakewood’s most action-packed. A block away, Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG) has already quieted down for the night, but in the Shaniks’ red brick home, our mellow conversation is surrounded by a palpable tenacity that seems to defy the clock. Phone calls are being answered, tzedakah checks are being written, and gemach library books are being organized.

Dr. Shanik assures me that he still has some time to talk because he never goes to sleep before two, by the time patient calls and home visits have usually subsided; and either way, “four hours of sleep is perfectly fine.” Rochel Shanik, a pillar of chesed in her own right, explains that she, too, still has the night ahead of her before heading to bed.

Dr. Reuven (Robert) Shanik has become somewhat of an icon in Lakewood. Ask around about the indefatigable pediatrician, and you’ll get an earful of praise and personal stories, with particular wonder at his grueling round-the-clock schedule.

Yet, Dr. Shanik, in his typical understated, self-effacing fashion, doesn’t brag or wax poetic about his life dream, academic and medical accomplishments, or community awards, and doesn’t glorify his patient demands or his taxing daily routine.

As he looks forward to his upcoming day in the office, which typically runs from around 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Dr. Shanik, a man of few words but many deeds, shows no signs of weariness either.

“I don’t consider seeing frum patients in Lakewood as work,” he offers without fanfare. “I get the privilege of helping children and I often get to hear divrei Torah from their fathers, too. Enjoying what you do makes all the difference.”


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"