Who Owns This Business?

Today is International Women’s Day, but you probably noticed that because it’s all over social media.

I’m here for it.

Empowered women empower women. I wholeheartedly embrace this sentiment.

An anecdote:

Last week I was consulting with a patient and as we were wrapping things up, I asked her if she had any additional questions.

She did.

Who owns this business? Whom are you affiliated with? Which hospital do you work for? Who is your boss?

My answer: I do. I own this business. I am The Boss.

I filled her in: I own this practice with my two partners, one of whom is in the process of retiring. Women own 3/4 of the practice. We have 60 employees, over 90% women. We promote women to leadership positions. We hire and train women. In a former life, I was an employee and now I’m not. I love that. It’s a lot more challenging but at the end of the day, The Buck Stops With Me.

I am here to:

  • Care for Women
  • Educate Women
  • Support Women
  • Advocate for Women
  • Elevate Women

Her response: “Wow. That’s awesome.”

I agree.

Happy International Women’s Day. Together we rise.

A Powerful Tool

My Selfies Are Still Terrible

Last week I heard something so powerful on NPR that I had to pull over and write the words down.

From Journalist Maria Hinojosa:

One tool we have is our Humanity.

If you give Humanity, you will get it back.

Wow. This deeply resonated.

When I describe myself, one word that I frequently use is Authentic.

I strive to be Authentically Me in all situations, although the Authentic Me is often a Big Mess compared to the Carefully Curated Me that I could project.

Many people have commented that they are surprised about how open I have been with my cancer journey, but I can’t imagine being any other way.

I bring the same Authentic Me to my medical practice. Medical training teaches us some rudimentary interpersonal skills, but you really need to develop your own style, which loosely could be called your Bedside Manner.

My own Bedside Manner stems from a combination of personality, experience, time (20 years of being a physician – how did I get here?), and – now – my cancer experience.

But as I heard Maria Hinojosa’s words last week, a light bulb went off.

Humanity and Authenticity are nearly one and the same.

The times I feel I do best in life are when Humanity is seated at the table.

Even in difficult or tense situations – and trust me, I have plenty – showing your Authentic Human self almost always pays off. This can look many different ways, including being vulnerable, sharing a personal story, empathizing with the scenario at hand or acknowledging the elephant in the room.

Because at the end of the day, what I think we’re all striving for is to connect, be heard and hopefully understood.

Humanity is a powerful tool at our disposal to get there.