We feel incredibly lucky to be able to partner with so many outstanding female physicians in our community to deliver quality patient care. Today, in honor of National Women Physicians Day, we’re celebrating them by sharing their stories.
“Caring is part of being good at your job. When you love a job, you do it very well.”
“Originally I wanted to go into private practice. I was looking for something lucrative that would allow me the space and the time and energy to work on starting a private practice as well. That’s why I initially decided to go into locums: to make enough income to allow me to leave my permanent job while still leaving room to build my practice…Locums gave me more time to pursue and cultivate other passions. I’ve always been passionate about writing and literature, and now I’m able to do that in addition to practicing medicine. I still consider pediatrics my first love, but now I have all these other ways that I’m able to serve and to be creative.”
“When I was in high school, I filled out this form on what you should do for a career, and it said that I should be a sports physician. And in order to do that, I knew I had to go to medical school, so I just thought, Okay, I’ll do that. But I had no idea what it entailed when I started off on that path. I had been so focused on sports medicine that I didn’t even really look at other options or specialties. But I realized during my third year of residency that I really liked inpatient hospitalist work, and then locums took me further down that road…Now I have the best of both worlds: I get to be a Pediatric Hospitalist on the civilian side, and I still do sports medicine work with my Navy sailors.”
“I don’t have a history with the military; neither of my parents served, though I had a grandfather, like many, who served in World War II. I think I just grew up watching a lot of M.A.S.H., and that piqued my interest in military medicine. [laughs] In college, I got to shadow [an Army neurologist at Walter Reed Medical Center], and ultimately that’s what led me to apply.
The military definitely prepared me for the locums lifestyle. In general, we’re very well-prepared as military physicians, in part because a lot of military training has to do with what you’re going to do in a deployed setting, where you don’t have all the resources, staff, or instruments you normally have. Having that experience of being able to navigate different ways of doing things, figuring out how to make do with what you have, makes walking into a locums environment fairly smooth and easy.”
“I didn’t have any inclination that there was any room for a woman to become a urologist, certainly not a Black woman. I didn’t see myself as a surgeon either, at this point. I didn’t have representations of diversity in these specialties at all. But when I was a second year medical student, we were given a brief lecture by Dr. Lenaine Westney, who was the Interim Chair of Urology at the University of Texas Houston medical school at the time. I was amazed and starstruck, that this was a Black woman who was a urologist. I was really drawn to her, and drawn to this field.
When I spent time shadowing her and her colleagues in urology, I learned about how fun and cool urologists really are. It’s not just for men. There’s a whole subspecialty of Urology that is primarily focused on women. And I thought, this is what I want to do with my life.”