MomMD Blogs

Blogs for women in medicine which cover topics such as health, medical school applications, pediatrician moms, physician success, childcare and many other thoughts for women in medicine.

Physicians considering a career change need to figure out their "disruptive" skills

As the recent SEAK Non-Clinical Careers Conference weekend fades away from my consciousness, I continue mulling over just what it takes to go from doc in full-time medical practice to a non-clinical physician role in which you are deploying skills that are either new or being tweaked to provide value in fresh new work places. Or to go from stay-at-home physician mom to someone who is ready to get back into the work place. I am so often told "I could never do anything else -- all I know is medicine." And then comes the inevitable comment "Maybe I should go to business school and get my MBA......
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The road more travelled

Ahhhh.  Here I am again at the B&B of mom and dad.  Brought all 3 kids this time, but flew big brother home mid-week to allay my fears that he's been missing some critical piece of learning in the 7th grade.  He was, it turns out, missing a lot back home - his new gf had broken up with him in absentia.  He's already replaced her (shocking that this is 7th grade - I feel old). Big brother came into my life when he was 2 through a series of (un?)fortunate events involving divorce and the re-kindling of a high school romance (in that order).  I travelled nearly monthly to see him and his dad......
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When overwhelm becomes the norm for physician moms

9-13-10overwhelmedWarning - this is a "peek inside my brain" post. I am an overwhelmed physician entrepreneur and mom at present! In the course of establishing and growing a business, of whatever kind, there come spells in which everything seems to pile up at once. It's an experience that frazzles the nerves, makes one want to run away from the job, and turns one into a grump to live with. With back-to-school tensions running high (my daughter's), a computer that went on the fritz for 4 days, two upcoming presentations, creating a new program, and being in the midst of a long hard look at where I want t......
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Listen up, kids

My best advice to anyone younger than I am?  Do not under any circumstance allow yourself to get out of shape.  Continue to invest time and effort in yourself - some day you will be very glad you did.  Say, for example, when your co-residents convince you to play indoor soccer. I did play soccer once upon a time, from age 4 with Dad coaching up to playing (briefly) in undergrad on a NCAA team.  When I quit the college team (a story for another time), I hung up my cleats "for a while".  17 (that's seven more than ten) years later, I found myself on in indoor field tonight 40+ pounds overweight......
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no comment

I do not like outpatient medicine.  I didn't like it coming into residency, and my experience thus far has only reaffirmed my distaste.  I do not like it in a boat, I do not like it with a goat.  It is no mystery to me why thousands of my colleagues are fleeing from the thought of primary care.  We had little exposure to it in medical school, and the disjointed, frustrating, and limited experience of outpt in residency does not leave me wanting more.  Having 4 hours of clinic in the middle of an 80 hour week in the ICU or on wards sucks.  Period. I am reading a terrific book right now - Outli......
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disparity

I continue to be astonished by the disparities in our "health" care system.  Yesterday brought that into light even more.  I admitted a young woman with severely neglected locally advanced breast cancer; she's had her "sore" for nearly two years and because of depression, embarrassment, lack of insurance, and lack of knowledge she didn't seek care until she became symptomatic from the severe anemia the large wound was causing.  I feel that my profession has somehow failed her - how did this happen?  I can't imagine how isolated she must have felt to have not been able to trust someone enough t......
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Be afraid.

The powers that be (aka ACGME) have decided that physicians in training are working too many hours at a stretch.  Let me frame this rant with a little history. Back in the time of giants, there were no work hour rules for residents.  100+ hour weeks for months on end was the life of an intern.  It makes sense that perhaps in those times patient safety may have been compromised.  Several years ago, regulations were enacted that limit residents to an 80-hour work week and shifts of no longer than 30 hours at a time, with a recommendation for a period of 5 hours in those shifts for sleep. What ......
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Speeding

I remember being very little and hearing my grandma say that time goes faster and faster every year.  At the time I envisioned adults' lives in fast forward, doing everything with such speed that they were literally racing around in a blur.  I stood quietly and motionless amidst the commotion in my mind, trying to make sense of it and feeling a little scared. Many years later, I still sometimes stand quietly and motionless trying to make sense of the commotion around me.  It is possible, if just for mere moments, to s - t - o - p.  I try to anchor moments in time, to force tiny neurons to kee......
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Us vs them

Well, it's happened.  Not that it hasn't happened before to varying degrees, but it's really happened this time.  Today, I inexplicably became "one of them", a stranger somehow on the other side of a what-are-we-going-to-do-with-mom fence.  After spending hours trying to do what seemed the best thing for a patient (and in keeping with her advanced directive which she filled out 3 years ago at the age of 88), I caved and bent to the will of the family.  Nothing too extreme like a central line or intubation, but against my better judgement and medical training, and possibly exposing her to unnec......
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Just right?

First shift in the ED today - wasn't that busy, and overall enjoyable.  Nice to forget about all those pesky chronic medical problems for a while and focus on acute issues.  No fireworks injuries, but I left at 6 so probably before all that.  This is a nice month, 8 days off!!!  Including a 3 day weekend.  And this, after just having had an entire week off.  I'm doing some moonlighting this month, which should be fun too.  I think I could get used to this R2 business :) We've been looking at house porn again (not my phrase to coin, stolen from a co-intern).  Although I love our house and it's......
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ode to camping

Her sleep breaks with the light


Big eyes open bigger


Eyes, nose, mouth


Shhh


Too late, more eyes


Together we greet the day


My family, my life, my love


Moving the still morning


A part of the world


Quiet


We take with us


This place, this time


A part of us in days to come

...
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Therapy

The summer after med school (1 whole year ago) I packed up the girls (aged 2 and 6 months at the time) into our new-to-us-and-has-a-dvd-player minivan and drove 687 miles to visit my parents, planning a one day drive.   By myself.   I had decided to start sewing, so I packed up my new collection of cute material and patterns for little girl dresses  and headed out to "borrow my mom's sewing machine" (aka visit gma and learn how to sew).  I wanted to surprise my mom so I didn't tell her we were coming.  Dad was in on it. We stopped 4 times in the first hour.  It was a harbinger of things to co......
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1103 Hits

one out of eight of you

Wow.  If women compose the readership of this website, one out of eight MomMD readers will go through something like what I went through last year.   A breast cancer diagnosis.  Mind-boggling numbers.  Therefore, I thought my story re finding my cancer might  be especially relevant to this readership and hopefully might help some of you to pick it up early.  Which is, of course, absolutely key.  Feel free to read my story here. And, if you are already in that one out of eight camp, I'm so sorry.  I think being a Mom doc oncology patient is an especially difficult role.   The dangers of way, w......
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1360 Hits

e-maternity leave

I wrote a letter to the editor on "e-maternity leave" long ago.  As the baby from that leave is now almost 10 years old, this was published a while ago.  However, I thought it might still be relevant for some MomMD readers (especially private practice psychiatrists) and so am linking to it here.

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a painful reminder

Sometimes it's hard to be a doctor, and even harder to be a friend. I got a phone call from a med school friend yesterday asking me to stop by and say Hi to her mom who was being admitted for back pain. My friend's in the middle of moving for residency and couldn't be here in person. This morning there was a code blue - I heard later it was a young lady admitted for back pain. She didn't make it. It was my friend's mom. We don't know what happened, and I don't know how to help my friend, who's moving across the country and is pulled over on the side of the road in shock. I do know I just got......
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fired?

It turns out I'm a bad patient. One who may even be fired. I just received a not-so-friendly reminder from my dentist that my family is 3 months overdue for our 6 month check up. The letter encouraged me to schedule appts ASAP for the health of our teeth and suggested that they aren't so much interested in continuing a relationship with people who can't/won't do so.Before I called their office today and quit (as a family of 5), I decided to sleep on it. It seems they have a new front office employee who may not know about our particular situation. She may not know that I finally got a haircut ......
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1078 Hits

How I got here

Just a quick word on me:  I'm a middle child (3 of 6), close with my parents and sibs, living in the NW.  I'm also an internal medicine resident at a small community program, have 3 great kids (12, almost 4, and 1.5 - that's right, 2 med school babies), and 1 great husband (ridiculously great - just keep reading, you'll hear all about him).  It's been a long strange trip to and through med school and we're all happy to be on the other side... I truly am living the dream, blessed in every way and thanking every last lucky star.
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medical advice conundrum

During my journey with cancer last year, I leaned on the medical advice from doctors who were friends, family and friends of family.  I am endlessly grateful for the input which guided my every step. But  when loved ones ask me for professional advice, I increasingly become baffled.  I long to pass on similar generous assistance and to share information that is the bread and butter of my clinical days.   Moreover, I have no problem discussing the subjects that fascinate me endlessly. However, sharing psychiatric input with friends and family hasn't proven simple for me, a......
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when to have kids?

So as I finished up residency and the three decade mark was closing in, it finally crossed my mind to vaguely consider having kids. My supervisor at the time -- a warm, brilliant, inspiring mother and psychiatrist Dr. P -- suggested I wait until I had established my career further.  She noted that while she couldn't imagine having had kids at a later age (as then she would have had different kids), that her career would have benefitted from waiting a while longer.  She suggested how at a major league hospital like hers, young mother professionals just were not taken quite as serio......
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why MomMD?

So as I sat this morning with the founder of MomMD who has asked me to blog on the MomMD site, I was initially ambivalent.   My blogging has always been professional, right?  I’m just hoping to help some folks.  Why is it relevant that I am a Mom anyway? I’ll give you some background on this one.  When other women joined the American Women’s Association during medical school, I was scornful.  Not because I was not a feminist.  Rather, because I was too much of a feminist and too young and ignorant.  I thought being a woman should be absolutely and completely irrelevant to my chosen profession.......
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