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Several pictures of doctors who are featured on the Local Legends web site

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Margaret M. Parker, M.D.

Picture of Margaret M. Parker
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Margaret M. Parker, M.D.

“The most rewarding part of my job is taking care of a really sick child who gets well and goes home, and then the parents bring him or her back for a follow up and I can tell them their child is cured. That's a really wonderful feeling.”


Timothy Bishop



"I always wanted to be a doctor," says Margaret M. Parker, M.D., "I can't remember wanting to be anything else. My father was a doctor; my mother was a nurse, and I was a candy striper. Every job I had was in a hospital setting."

Praised for her intelligence, flexibility and caring attitude, Parker has combined two specialties in a career that has brought her accolades for both her medical achievements and community contributions.

Caring for the critically ill, first for adults and now children, has been her life's work. As a pediatric critical care specialist, her vast knowledge has helped save numerous children's lives.

However, she began her career in adult critical care, becoming a fellow and then heading the Critical Care Section Medicine Department of the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda. She then resumed her education, switching to pediatric intensive care and working as a fellow in that specialty at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. This qualified her to fill a void in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Stony Brook, in New York, where she has served with distinction in that community since 1991.

Nominated as a Local Legend of Medicine by Rep. Timothy Bishop (D-NY-1), Parker received the 2004 the International Health Professional of the Year award and the Woman of the Year award from the American Biographical Institute in 2003. She is listed in Who's Who in American Women (1989, 1991, 1995, 1999) and Best Doctors in New York (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005).

From 2004 to 2005 she served as President of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. As a professor of pediatrics at SUNY at Stony Brook, she has won numerous Resident Teaching awards.

Parker has testified before Congress to advocate for more research funding, delivered more 40 lectures worldwide, including a trip to China, and published over 60 articles, reviews and book chapters. She serves on the editorial board of many publications devoted to critical illness and pediatric critical care.

"I love teaching. It keeps me involved and connected, and I love seeing my students become caring physicians," she says. "Patient care is what I love most though. Dealing with families in stressful situations can be tough, but the rewards are so great."

A colleague has written, "Margaret's strengths lie in her intelligence and humanity. Intelligence does not simply apply to her vast knowledge of critical illness, a field she contributed to greatly with her work on sepsis at the National Institutes of Health."

"Raising four sons helped her to remain grounded, which is evident in her modesty and her tremendous empathy for the parents of the sick children in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Many children are alive today because of her dedication to providing high-quality care."

Declares Parker, "I would like to be remembered for championing the field of critical care as a specialty, and contributing to the improvement of critical care for both children and adults."



Appointed Director, Critical Care Section, Medicine Department, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD


Appointed Associate Professor, Pediatrics, the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, NY


Appointed Professor, Pediatrics, SUNY at Stony Brook


Appointed Director, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, SUNY at Stony Brook


Named Woman of the Year, American Biographical Institute


Elected President of the Society of Critical Care Medicine


Named International Health Professional of the Year, International Biographical Center of Cambridge


Receives the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award




Brown University Medical School, Providence, RI



Sub Specialty

Critical Care Medicine


New York