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Women In Medicine - Dr. Pavithra Indramohan

Women In Medicine Month: Dr. Pavithra Indramohan

September is Women in Medicine Month. We are pleased to share the stories of some of our female physicians.

Pavithra Indramohan, MD
Assistant Professor

Meet Dr. Indramohan

Dr. Indramohan is board-certified in Internal Medicine and received fellowship training in Geriatric Medicine.

A career in medicine is a collaborative experience, and support from others is incredibly important. Was there a female mentor in your life that helped you navigate any obstacles in your medical career?

Yes, I have been so fortunate to have grown up in a family of strong women.  To begin with my mother was and is my biggest inspiration in my career. I have seen how she juggled her role as a busy dentist and as a mother of three girls and being a perfect homemaker, too. 
Being the youngest in the family, I always looked up to my sisters, who are both strong career women themselves today.  I consider my sisters as my best mentors in my life.  Besides them, I was also lucky to have been trained and worked alongside many such amazing female physician leaders like Dr. Cuevas, Dr. Mohan, Dr. Bhatti, Dr. Neitch and  Dr. Goebel to name a few, throughout my medical career, and I have learned a lot from them as well.

I think it is important in this context to also acknowledge our male counterparts who are fighting alongside of us in the system of patriarchy. 

My father and spouse have been very crucial in helping me become the independent woman that I am today. 

Last year the #medbikini broke the internet when a journal article listed wearing a bikini on the beach on personal social media as unprofessional behavior. Do you feel that women are held to a different professionalism standard than men?  

Absolutely! I definitely think that we, as doctors in general, should not have to worry about what we do in our free time and outside the  workspace. We should never be judged based on that. Especially true for female physicians.

More recently, the discrimination against female physicians by FIGS in their commercial has been appalling, too. Such businesses should not be encouraged. I find it quite sad that we are having this sort of a discussion in 2021. 

This behavior will only take us back in time and widen the professional inequality.  

For those of you that have chosen to have children, do you ever feel that society (or even fellow colleagues) attempt to dictate that it is “impossible” to be both a good doctor and a good parent? If so, how do you handle this criticism in your own personal life, and how do you propose we navigate those wrongful judgements in the future?  

The theme of this discussion will overlap with the above as well. I don't think we, as female doctors, should ever feel guilty to take time off to raise a family.  There is an old saying, “hands that rock the cradle, rule the world." We should have the freedom to make our personal choices.  

For instance, having a pregnant females’ car park that is closer to the facility, having at least 12-15 weeks time off post-pregnancy, have built in time for nursing, or even having a private space for nursing, are things I consider a necessity and are needed to promote a healthy community. This should be important for all female workers in general and not specifically for female doctors. Personally, I am thankful I was able to do some of these things. However, I doubt if that might be the case in other female physicians’ lives. Hence, it is an extremely important discussion to have at our workplace so that we are sensitized to the needs of the expectant mothers.

What advice would you give to a young woman pursuing a career in medicine?

The fact that you are woman should never interfere with your career as a physician. 

Being a woman and a physician is a perfect combination of the heart and the brain, which is what we need in healthcare today, and it is important to nurture them both. It is also important to stand up against any work place discrimination or harassment. Do not forget to support and uplift your other female colleagues. Make your mental health a priority ~ cultivate a practice of meditation.

Date Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2021