Heart of a Lion, Hands of a Woman: What Women Neurosurgeons Do
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Mixed Musings

Everyone is busy. I make no excuses. Everyone has times when all the hats they must wear need attention at the same time.  This has been such a time for me.  The confluence of this week included a higher than usual surgical quota, a similar load of consults and office responsibilities, both kids home from college (one with a crisis of intense proportions), a dog having surgery and a new puppy on the way, and multiple regional and national executive board meetings while health care reform reached fever pitch (with no real relief from the SGR)!
Why should anyone care about what happens in my small orbit? The easy answer is, you don't and you shouldn't.  You all have your own challenges and probably don't have the time to waste reading a long diatribe.
But in the midst of this, I was struck again by a few things.

  • Talking to a close colleague he said, "I am not trying to blow smoke up your a...but it has to be so much harder for you as a mother and full time neurosurgeon to deal with the challenges of kids" (this after a prolonged discussion about a number of clinical matters and then his own crisis kids!).  It is 2010 and yet being a mother is considered unique from being a parent and I have to shake my head and think, we've come a long way but...
  • Being a parent is far  more difficult than being a neurosurgeon 
  • During a crisis, trying to be a good parent can distract from the unending work of being a neurosurgeon
  • My patients remain remarkably supportive of me as a person-respectful of my multi-dimensional needs (in fact, sometimes I sense they like me more because I am not JUST a neurosurgeon)
  • Isolating myself as a doctor excluded from the socioeconomic aspects of medicine will never be fulfilling
  • Thank goodness for dogs, their love is unconditional
  • My husband is a saint, I couldn't be without him
Is there a lesson? Sure, always have a Plan B, always be seeking new opportunities, making new connections, exploring new avenues.

Frank Lloyd Wright: The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope.
Walt Disney: We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Coming soon: adorable puppy pictures!

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