How do you juggle caring for moms and being a mom? It’s a lot. Physician leader Nikki Liburd, MD joined host Pam Peeke, MD for a candid conversation on the topic.
Not everyone leaves medical school with a specific specialization in mind, and the residency experience can cause too much burnout to inspire focus. Caring for others while finding balance in your own life can be challenging.
Dr. Nikki Liburd, an OB/GYN hospitalist and Site Director at USC Verdugo Hills, discusses how her career choices affected her family life on this episode of the Obstetrics Podcast. Listen in:
A good fit
“As hospitalists, we are always there at the hospital, seeing how things go day in and day out versus a traditional model of a physician,” Liburd explains. “Your time is split between different places; your office or clinic versus the hospital. I’ve been working with a community of physicians, which has been a plus. They love having us there, not only for safety but also because we offer call coverages to make sure they have a better work-life balance, too.”
An average day on the job includes team huddles, rounding, and working with patients. Days are busy but fulfilling. Liburd notes that before she advanced to a leadership position, “It was just a day that was packed full of different things I could do that would impact patient care.”
Finding a balance
The OB/GYN hospitalist works in the hospital, collaborating with other departments to provide the best possible care for women. “A full-time OB/GYN hospitalist role through OBHG offered me the type of career I wanted, which was to serve patients in a hospital setting, but also having that flexible schedule that afforded me quality time with my family,” shares Liburd.
However, Liburd clarifies that work-life balance is subjective. “I think it means something different to each person, and it definitely doesn’t mean 50% of my time is devoted to my work and 50% of my time is devoted to my family. It’s just an arbitrary balance that makes you feel good about your work-life balance, that makes you actually want to go to work, and want to be around your family and have time to commit to them. It’s not a perfect 50/50 thing as it implies. It’s a bit more personal.”
Looking toward the future
For anyone who is interested in pursuing this career path, Liburd’s advice is to seek employment opportunities that allow you to attain the best opportunity for maintaining that positive work-life balance, whether it is through a traditional private practice path, the OB/GYN hospitalist track, or even a hybrid model. “Before you know, it’ll be time to retire. It’s imperative to have a good balance and minimal regrets when it comes to work-life balance,” she advises.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that the world of healthcare is constantly evolving. One aspect Liburd predicts will change—and improve—in five to ten years is patients becoming better advocates for themselves.
“The internet and social media have helped in that role. ‘Doctor Google’ has helped in that role. I don’t necessarily find it offensive when I encounter patients like that, who are real advocates. It actually makes my job a little easier. That’s one aspect I think will change,” she notes. “The other aspect that I think will change is the important role and benefit of OB/GYN hospitalists… this will continue to grow in the area of hospital leadership, teaching roles, and likely health policy.”