Story by: David Steen Martin on January 13, 2021
Scott G. Bickel, M.D., was drawn to pediatric pulmonology by the bonds he would be able to develop with children and their families. He sums up his work as helping kids with pulmonary conditions lead the best lives possible and accomplish whatever goals they set for themselves.
“What motivates me is seeing kids play sports who maybe weren’t able to, helping kids with complicated medical needs have long, healthy, productive lives to the best of their ability, and helping families through that journey,” said Dr. Bickel, pediatric pulmonologist with Norton Children’s Pulmonology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine.
Dr. Bickel treats children with asthma, cystic fibrosis and other respiratory ailments, including chronic lung disease in premature babies and more complicated cases such as children on ventilators at home.
He also performs procedures such as flexible bronchoscopies that allow him to look into the lungs and air passages.
“One of the nice things about what I do is there’s always so much variety from day to day,” Dr. Bickel said.
In addition to treating patients, Dr. Bickel is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
Dr. Bickel and Norton Children’s Pulmonology are also involved in research and clinical trials.
Norton Children’s Pulmonology took part in clinical trials that helped lead to the approval of new medications called CTFR modulators for children with cystic fibrosis. These medications directly target the underlying causes of cystic fibrosis. The drugs significantly improve lung function, reduce respiratory symptoms, reduce hospitalizations and decrease the need for antibiotics.
“We hope these drugs will lead to improved long-term outcomes including a better quality of life and increased life expectancy,” Dr. Bickel said.
Our pulmonary specialists are nationally respected for their expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of children’s pulmonary disorders.
A Louisville native, Dr. Bickel studied computer science as an undergraduate at Ohio State University and expected to have a career in computer engineering. Over time, he realized he wanted to pursue a different career path.
“While I enjoyed the problem solving involved with computer science, I felt like I was sitting in front of a computer too much. I wanted to interact more directly with people,” Dr. Bickel said. “I spent a lot of time volunteering at the hospital at Ohio State. I shadowed many physicians, and I liked what I saw.”
Dr. Bickel attended medical school and completed his pediatric residency and pulmonology fellowship at the University of Louisville, where he became the first pediatric pulmonology fellow in Kentucky.
When he’s not working, Dr. Bickel enjoys following Ohio State sports and spending time with his wife and two daughters, ages 6 and 8.