The Balancing Act: Clinician, Educator, Wife and Mother
Dr. Reem Jan in an Assistant Professor in the Section of Rheumatology. She attended medical school in St George’s University of London, United Kingdom and completed her internal medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of Michigan. Her chief interest is inflammatory arthritis, and she is developing skills in musculoskeletal ultrasound to assist in diagnostics and interventions. She is also responsible for organizing the residents’ Rheumatology clinical experience and teaching curriculum.
My husband Amer is an Interventional Cardiologist so we are both busy parents. I am fortunate in having arranged my clinic schedule to both optimize time at home with the children and maximize the efficiency of the time I spend at work. We have an excellent nanny who cares for my younger son who is almost 3 and my older daughter attends the Lab school and commutes to work with me. We spend lots of time chatting and reviewing the news and new songs on the radio on the way to and from work!
Advice to Women Faculty and Trainees
Trust your heart; if there are moments when you have to prioritize family over work commitments, then so be it. There have been a few times when I have had to reschedule clinic or ask for coverage when the kids have been particularly unwell and I have never regretted it. However, I would have felt horrible leaving them with someone else when they needed me.
Try to squeeze in times to exercise 3-4 times a week if possible; the stronger you are physically, the younger you will feel and the more energy you will have for your children. Taking care of yourself makes you better able to care for others.
Whenever work is particularly heavy or stressful, plan a weekend away with the family at the end of that busy period. It gives you something fun to anticipate, and allows you to spend extra special quality time with the kids to compensate for that time you were wrapped up in work.
Always be open to new adventures at home and at work!