What do you want to be when you grow up?
If someone had asked me this question at the beginning of my career in medicine the answer would be a lot different than what I would say today. At that point I would probably have said I wanted to have a long and successful career as a clinical anesthesiologist. Period.
There is something about hitting mid-career and growing older that makes one pause and reassess life, career and priorities.
I find myself questioning my career goals and where I want to find myself 10 years from now. My focus has changed from “being a career anesthesiologist” to now more of “what legacy do I want to leave behind.”
With that in mind I have set some new goals for myself.
My new goals:
- I am determined to advocate for my patients and for my profession.
- I am going to advocate for women leaders in all fields of medicine.
- I am going to create a forum where women physicians can come together to help each other with the unique set of challenges we face.
- I am going to challenge myself and take on more leadership roles.
- I am going to ask for more responsibilities in my hospital and in my organization.
- I am going to volunteer for positions in committees at the State level and the National level in the organizations in my field of medicine so that I can make a difference and have some say in the making of policies which will affect my working life.
So to everyone: What would you like to be when you grow up?
- Is your goal to climb the ladder in Academic Medicine and become a Professor in your department?
- Or do you want to go into Private Practice and become Medical Directors or Chiefs of Departments?
- Or is it to not have any responsibilities other than to go to work and go back home at the end of the day?
Whatever your goal, there are people who can help you along the way, if only you know who to ask.
A few weeks ago, I was at the American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Conference. I was fortunate enough to meet many women leaders there, all of whom had taken a slightly different path to get where they are now. At the same time there were many commonalities. Each of them took a few minutes out of their very busy schedules to talk to me.
It was inspiring to hear their stories and know that I was not the only one who wanted to do something different and did not know exactly what steps to take. Each of them showed me one step on that path that I want to take.
In the coming weeks and months I will be posting their stories so all of you can learn from them as I am learning.
When I grow up I want to inspire other young women to aspire to be leaders.
To my readers: if you like what you read, please encourage me by posting in the comments or on Social media.
If you have questions for women in leadership positions that you would like to have answers for, post them in the comments section or on social media and I will answer or reach out to people who may have the answers.