It’s no secret if anyone has read my stuff or read anything about me that I became a mother and a physician at the same time. I’m young (33), but I was ahead of the curve on baby having relative to my med school friends and Physicians Moms Group on FB hadn’t been created yet. As I transitioned from 4th year med student to intern while married to another intern and on through every career opportunity, I constantly would smirk to myself about what is expected on the Curriculum Vitae. Definitions of a CV tend to look like this “a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous experience, typically sent with a job application.”
Well, if that is the case, there are a number of experiences I have now had related to being a mother that significantly up my qualifications and experience for also being a doctor. And yet, there is no way anyone would take me seriously if the below were my CV. I’m self-employed now, so I don’t care. Perhaps I should because if I ever want to be employed again and a certain type of man reads this I may be ruining those chances. But I think they need to know, and if they can’t appreciate this or the sentiment behind it, well then I’d never wish to work for that type of man (or woman). This type of experience might be what a large number of mother physicians really want to put on their CV’s. For all you amazing, brilliant, diverse and wonder woman mom docs out there, this one’s for us (and me, I needed to write this ;-). I use the terms nonsense and foolishness a lot. For clarification, I refer to anything that is mostly about power, money, ticking off arbitrary checklists, and just doing the status quo but without thought to whether it’s really helping care for people as nonsense and foolishness. Essentially anything that lacks love and care. As a mom, I don’t let my child have temper tantrums and just give into his whims to keep the peace. Nor will I give into the nonsense and foolishness in medicine that often hurts patients just for the sake of my career advancement, or playing the politics, or keeping the peace among colleagues. I hope you enjoy, or if not enjoy, can at least appreciate the sentiment without offense.
CV for Shannon Tapia MD
College: U of Notre Dame graduated 2006 with a BA
Medical School: Loyola Univ Stritch school of Med graduated 2010
– Had child in fall of 4th year med student with another med student who I had met and married all in school.
– Whether you delivery vaginally, C-section, induced or natural, in the USA having a baby makes you a patient…being a patient is an experience every doctor should be lucky to have as it can increase empathy immensely.
– Understand Medicaid and its difficult application as I was on it to pay for my delivery and son’s essential vaccinations.
– Now know what it’s like to not have access to a washer/dryer in your apartment complex with a newborn, or on-site parking. Something our patients live with daily.
– Managed my and my husband’s 4th year elective and required schedules like a boss all to maximize our son’s well being and juggle childcare with dual residency interviews (had no family in Chicago).
– Passed Step 2 blind (didn’t study at all) after taking it 4 weeks postpartum and on zero sleep. Yeah my bundle of joy didn’t sleep until he was 9 months.
– Struggled to Breastfeed until my son was 8 months. Pumped in airplane bathrooms during turbulence, clinic rotation storage closets, etc. This experience gave me immense empathy for my patients. While I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding if possible, I know how hard it can be when juggling work and tough schedules and depending on body type and baby temperament. At the end of the day, Fed is Best!
Lancaster General Hospital Family Medicine Residency 2010 – 2013
– husband was an Anesthesia resident at a residency 45 minutes from mine, we lived in between. – Had no family in area, thus had to have affordable live-in nannies and daycare. Had to manage the nannies on top of everything related to our child, his nutritional, medical, and clothing needs.
– Was Primary parent during all of training.
– Carried Mental Load of managing family in addition to fulfilling all commitments to my patients and colleagues.
– Was never late ever, completed all notes within 48 hours, and only took 2 sick days in all of residency, despite having a toddler new to the cesspool of daycare germs.
– Despite giving feedback on logistics of the residency schedule, didn’t even apply for Chief Residency because I was already a Chief but without the perks of my household.
Geriatrics Fellowship Lancaster General Hospital 2013/2014
– Same story as above but this time without the live-in nannies. I just juggled everything with daycare and thanks to good friends that by this time I had made.
Board Certified in Family Med and Geriatrics. Yes I continue to pay into the ABFM and then some more to do useless MOC simulations because, well, I have to.
Memberships: Again, I pay an absurd amount of money to National professional organizations for very little in return. Does it really matter which ones? I am, however, a proud member of some online women-only physician forums, PMG is one. I also subscribe on my own dime to UpToDate as I constantly read for and about my patients or anyone who asks me to help. It’s really about the patients at the end of the day and making sure we are life-long learners regarding things that are relevant to our patients (not just things we’re told we should study for a multiple choice test because it makes our Professional Organizations money).
Direct Senior Care PLLC – I started it, I own it, I run it. – I will credit my husband this as his employed job as a Pediatric Anesthesiologist covers our loans and mortgage, so I was able to opt-out of all the nonsense/foolishness plaguing medicine today and start a practice where I only work for my patients and their families….and that allows the flexibility I need to be what I am, the Primary Parent and manager of our family and an amazing doctor!
Rocky Mountain Senior Care – I miss it terribly, it’s the only place I’d be an employee ever again.
Texas Tech HSC – Assistant Professor in Dept of Family Medicine. Resigned after a year to have the freedom to serve patients the way I know I best can. And also, too much nonsense.
I’ve given lots to a variety of audiences. I’m good at it. I can talk about anything. I don’t over-rely on PowerPoint. I can turn any lecture into a Haiku if necessary. I keep it relevant, evidence based if there is any, and always interactive. Kinda like my parenting.
– Have 2 publications in a very practical and informative but not peer reviewed magazine called “Today’s Geriatric Medicine”
– I have no intention of ever publishing in an Academic journal because to get published takes too much nonsense that I ain’t got time for and only professionals read them. This isn’t to minimize those authors that do get published, at least the ones that actually do all the work and writing (as opposed to the Faculty that just tag their names to everything). I applaud those physicians and researchers who have the mental fortitude to tolerate the nonsense and publish truly worthy ideas and studies to make humanity better. frankly I’d rather just blog, which I do now regularly at www.medicineontap.net. Oh but KevinMD fairly regularly posts whatever I submit to him.
Yes, I have it. You can probably find my real CV online to reference it. What is more interesting I believe is my life-experience. Why? Well because in being a mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, friend, well-traveled and culturally educated, loser of loved ones to suicide and illness, etc etc I have grown as a person and a physician more than any lab research experience could give. Thus, I am better equipped to be there for my patients when they need me, as I feel with them and for them. I care immensely, and this is something I am proud of (not something that makes me less of a doctor, but it is something that makes me not suffer foolishness well).
I’m a physician: Here are some things I have received from patients. Because really, it’s their opinion of me that matters most. These are just the few things I had the wherewithal to save. There have been more, and I regret not having them for when my job and life seem particularly thankless to reference for inspiration. Also if you go to my newly formed website www.directseniorcare.co I have some patient testimonials under the About Dr. Tapia page.
I will play any sport with anyone. I love tennis. I was the only female in a charity Basketball tournament to benefit Type I DM of Docs vs Lawyers in Lubbock TX. I love the outdoors, especially mountains, music, arts, and new adventures with family and friends. I’m open to really anything that involves kind, good people and making connections.