September is Women in Medicine Month. We are pleased to share the stories of some of our female physicians.
Our first feature of the week is Dr. Marie Frazier. Dr. Frazier completed her residency training in Pediatrics here at Marshall University and fellowship training at Duke University in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. She is the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and serves as the Medical Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Children’s Advocacy Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital.
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?
Honestly, I have had several mentors along the way. One of the most influential female mentors for me, I met during my third and fourth year of medical school here at Marshall. Dr. Renee Domanico is a Neonatologist and guided me tremendously during those years as well as during Peds residency. Although I ended up pursuing a career in Peds critical care, she was a significant influence and role model both professionally and personally.
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?
I have not experienced any significant circumstances where I felt that expectations were different between men and women in my field of Peds critical care. However, I do think work-life balance can definitely be more challenging.
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?
I do not feel that it is impossible to have both a professional life and personal life that are both successful, nor have I experienced criticism for attaining both. I took into consideration what I wanted my work and personal life to look like as my career progressed. It is important for me to love my job and make a difference in the lives of children. However, being a parent is the most important privilege I will ever have. I have built a career that affords me to have both. I have a husband and 3 kids (aged 12, 14 and 16 yrs). My service week is busy, and I really can't be relied on at home for the daily activities- soccer games, gymnastic practices, homework, tennis matches, boy scouts, etc. My husband is a Nurse Practitioner, and we met in residency when he worked in the PICU. He gets it, and its all that my kids have ever known: mom will miss stuff when she's on-call, but the other 3 weeks she's front and center. My kids know if I'm not there, its because I'm helping a sick child, and they understand. My husband is now a NP for Family Medicine, and he runs the house my call week, and I take care of things when he has busy clinic weeks. Its all about achieving a balance and your family understanding.
What advice would you give to a young woman pursuing a career in medicine?
Do what you love, and you will make a difference and be happier overall. Be creative, speak up and be vocal about what your goals are and what's important to you. As you progress through medicine, you will see many different ways physicians in the same field structure their life. Learn from what you like and want your life to mirror. It is possible.
Date Posted: Monday, September 20, 2021