Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jennifer Frank, MD: Making friends, Part 3

I have previously written about the struggles I face as a busy, working mom to establish close friendships, or let’s face it, even loose friendships with other moms like me – moms who spend most of their time away from the people that are closest to their hearts.

I joined a meetup.com group to meet other working (outside the home) moms and have been pleasantly surprised by the result. No bosom buddies yet, but I have enjoyed the few activities I have attended. I am even hosting my first event this weekend – a movie afternoon at our house. Friday night will find me madly cleaning the toy room in order to create the illusion that in addition to working full time and parenting four young kids, my house is always immaculately clean.

Last night, I had the opportunity to do something I normally avoid like the plague (or agree to attend and then spend the days leading up to the event inventing ever more fabulous excuses for canceling). There is a new surgeon in town and she is a girl. She hosted a meet and greet for other female physicians at a local restaurant.
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I get a fair number of invites to meet new physicians or see new office space or hear about new services. Usually, I am not even remotely tempted to give up time with my family to attend. However, when I received Dr. Collette’s invitation in the mail, I decided to go. Maybe it was the hot pink lettering and zebra print background on the invite. It might have been the informality of combining the “Doctor” title with her first name – not since I lived in the south have I been “Dr. Jen.”

I think, though, it was most likely the little note that accompanied the invitation. It described the benefits of female providers meeting, working with, and supporting other female providers. I like that. I wanted to meet this lady. Most of all, I wanted to reward her outreach effort by accepting the invitation.

So, yesterday evening, I headed out to the reception. I admit that I regretted having accepted as I drove to the restaurant. I would have preferred to head right home even knowing that dinnertime chaos awaited me. But, I reasoned with myself, I accepted and wasn’t sure how many other physicians would take the time to go. I also told myself that there were probably other female physicians in my place – busy with work and home and eager to meet other people with whom they share a common bond.

I took an immediately liking to the new doc in town – approachable and down-to-earth. I also had the chance to meet a half-dozen women doctors. One even brought her 9-month-old son – another bond. It was nice to converse with these fellow physicians and moms and wives and women.

It has inspired me to get together with my practice partners and host our own female physician get together. I will let you know if anyone accepts our invitation.

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