As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, we are highlighting a few of our female physician and hospital leaders. They offer insight and words of encouragement to women seeking to pursue careers in medicine.
Kerri Schiller, senior vice president and chief financial officer
Don’t ever be afraid to take a leap – work hard and do your best. You can be and have whatever it is you strive for – you just have to be willing to work for it.
Find yourself a mentor – someone who you trust and admire. Keep in touch and reach out when you need advice or just to say hello.
Striking a balance between career and family can be very difficult. Healthcare, in particular, is a profession where the dedication to the well-being of others is of great importance. Having good friends and/or a partner who accepts your role and who shares and supports responsibilities allows for greater satisfaction both at home and at the job. And, of course, working with people you enjoy and like is critical to your ability to perform your job and love what you do.
Accept the fact that some days will be hard. I keep a small folder of mementos, including expressions of thanks or acknowledgement I have received from others through the years. Going through that folder reminds me of times of accomplishments and success, as well as recognition. There are going to be days when you feel like there’s no one in your court; that’s the day to pull out your file and give yourself a boost.
Dr. Maria Minon, vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer
It is my hope that women professionals in healthcare and other career fields will use Women’s Day as a reminder to exceed expectations and aspire to excellence as the Professionals they are – measuring themselves against all their peers – not just a select group.
A favorite quote of mine is from Eleanor Roosevelt, “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”
I encourage women to take responsibility for themselves and their choices and to rise above to become the great individuals they desire to be.
Dr. Mary Zupanc, chair of neurology and director of the pediatric comprehensive epilepsy program
Reach for the stars! Go for it! Whatever you want to do, follow your passion and your heart. Don’t settle for less. Money should not be the significant driver. Money does not buy happiness or satisfaction. In medicine and other careers, it is about making a difference, making the world a better place.
Follow your instincts. Block out anyone trying to convince you otherwise. At times, you may feel like you have to prove yourself as a woman. Persistence, focus, and determination will allow you to reach your goal, no matter how unattainable it seems. Failure and picking yourself up to overcome is part of the process. Be patient and respectful, but also respect yourself. Always make time to do something good for yourself. Surround yourself with other strong women to reach out to.
Dr. Christine Bixby, neonatologist and medical director of lactation services
My advice for women pursuing a career in medicine is that practicing medicine is a great joy and privilege. The hard work is well worth it. Having a medical career and family can be challenging but finding the right balance can be done with good planning and a great partner.
Go for it! Find what is your passion. Put your head down, do the work and you will definitely succeed.
When I began my career, I wish I would have known that I would find a group of wonderful, smart and supportive women who are always there (even at 2 a.m.) to pick you up and raise you up on the tough days.
- What is a pediatric hospitalist? Follow along on a day in the life of Dr. Georgie Joven-Pechulis, a pediatric hospitalist at CHOC Children’s.
- In observance of Mental Health Month, follow along for a day in the life of Madeline, a clinical nurse in CHOC’s Mental Health Inpatient Center.
- A NICU nurse shares that while she learned a lot from nursing school, nothing compares to what she’s learned from the CHOC Children’s RN Residency Program and her patients.