Joan, Seven, SIX discussed on Best of Both Worlds Podcast


Tell we move. But now i don't know even just like i think a day like a weekend day where i didn't have responsibilities for everyone would be helpful. I think you can make it happen right all right. Let's hear what gender has to say. I am so excited to welcome here. Doctor joan dunlap who is at hopkins and we had multiple requests for people who had a little bit unusual career trajectories or some time out of work and we thought she would be perfect to have this discussion. Joan can you go ahead and introduce yourself. Yeah thanks for having me. Sarah mining miss joan dumb up. I'm a pediatric allergist. At johns hopkins. That's what i do for work. But the other parts of who i am. I'm mom to three kids age. Thirteen twelve and eight. And i'm married to a pastor which is probably unusual for the listenership of this podcast. He's a associate pastor at a southern baptist church here in washington. Dc wow that. isn't you. Know what cool combination. I love that well. I am not going to talk much. I want you to tell our listeners. The story of your somewhat unusual career trajectory through medicine. And i guess i will give the background that for most people. You can't go to med school a lot of times. You're fresh out of college. So you're you know what twenty two years old when you start med school then you start your fellowship at around twenty six. Maybe you're done your residency at twenty six in the. Maybe you're done with that at twenty nine thirty and maybe do a fellowship and then you're all done that's kinda like but some notice that that does interfere directly with the most common and healthy childbearing year absolutely and so there may be other pets so i will let you go ahead. How it was for you and quite different. Yeah great thanks sarah. So as sarah mentioned medicine. Academic medicine in particular is usually kind of it's presented as a really linear path and one of the reasons. I told sarah laura that was interested in coming on the podcast. Because i'm really a big proponent of people making their own path and doing what works best for them and for their family. So i did a pretty typical thing as sarah described went to college and then went on to medical school in medical school actually started hopping off the path. A little bit the dip. My toe in the water. I took a year off in the middle of medical school. I got married in the middle of my third year of medical school and took a year off to just try to see if continuing in medicine. What's going to work for my husband. And i and our relationship and our career trajectories and what we wanted to do with our lives. The short story from that was decided. Yes absolutely bringing finish medical school. In then i was a pediatric resonant. Here at johns hopkins started in two thousand and four. that's also presented often as a straight shot career paths. Oh you need to do your residency and then you need to decide right away what you wanna do the rest of your life. Do you want to specialize. Do you want to be a generalist. And i s era mentioned. You really finish residency around twenty nine. Which is kind of prime childbearing years. And i decided that i was going to hop off and that was a huge like just a watershed moment in my life of deciding that even though i could go on i was going to prioritize having children and so i was going to take a job out of residency that will allow me to flex up or flex down for the needs my family so i took a job at children's national medical center which is a hospital here in dc working their emergency department. And i worked part time. I flex it up flushed it down that you're my first child and then a couple of years later have my second and then my second son had significant medical needs so sarah and i could get all nerdy about it but we'll try to keep it non-medical and his future just wasn't totally sure. We've just didn't know what was going to be next for him. So i made the decision. Basically he had a lot of therapies and appointments. And i want it to be there for those so i made the decision to pull way back with my work schedule and then eventually actually decided that. I needed to step out altogether. That was incredibly difficult. I think a lot of us put a lot of our identity in what we do for work and i think as doctors were guilty of being extra identified closely identified with our work and so it was a huge deal for me to decide that it wasn't the right time for my family for me to be in the workforce so i left completely and in this i just see i mean god just totally opened a door for me because it was so kind so as home completely. My son had a bunch of surgeries. Had a bunch of a. You know a lots of weekly or biweekly therapy. And then children's decided to open a satellite emergency department for poor neighborhood here in dc which is awesome because that was the neighborhood that really wasn't getting high hyperbolic care but now they have to staff to emergency departments twenty four seven and they really. They were hiring a lot of new staff but at some point they said we really want staff we know staff we already have confidence in trust and so they reached out to me and said hey you know what we really need someone we would really like basically you to come back and i said what got you know you know. I left because my son's medical meets said well we'll take whatever hours you can give us. What can you give us an. I just decided to ask big. So i said i could do weekday daytime shift which acerra knows like hot commodity right. If you're working your staffing at unit twenty four seven to ask i d. I wanted the same weekday every week for baby-sitter and it's like impossible to get when you're so junior and they said sure. Do you want to stay wednesday or thursday fantastic so then. I ended up working that thursday day. Shift gig basically for many years. So i did that for several years until i saw my second son did much better started in a regular school. We had a daughter third child at around that time and so when all the kids were starting back in. I should back all the kids. Were either in school getting ready to start school and my husband and i were looking ahead. Okay now we have a little bit more bandwith. I've been doing this very part time job. For at that point i had been out of residency for like six six or seven years. Which is unusual typically. Your path is set by them. And they said i would like to go back and do more what can i do. What should i do. What do i want you to. And so there are a lot of options out there. You know with my. It's not like. I was uneducated so with my pediatric certification. I certainly could go join a general pediatrics practice. I could continue working emergency department. But the part of the story. I didn't tell was in interim both of my boys. My older boys have been diagnosed with food allergies and i realized that as a pediatrician. I actually had not gotten a ton of education and food allergies. When i was a resident wasn't exposed a lot. It's very much an outpatient kind of disease and so we didn't see a ton of it his residence and i didn't have any personal interest and long story short. A bunch of things work together and been working with an asthma initiative based in our emergency department. So that's also in the allergy field. I said you know what i am. Constantly reading about food allergy for my children. I think i can do this. I think i would like to contribute to figuring out why we have food allergies. And why there's more them and to work on therapies. So with that motivation mind. I applied for it after fellowship training so this point people are getting an application. It's a woman's seven or eight years out of residency so older than the typical candidate and atypical career path. I had stayed in. So i you know other than those six months when my second son had a lot of medical needs. I had always done something so. I can't say that i left completely for an extended length of time but i didn't really scale down so i was really thankful. Hopkins was a resident there so they basically were happy to take a risk of you. So i came back to fellowship training but i don't know anyway. I turned forty as a as a fellow. So i think it's the first your fellow. My kids were all in school. And i got a master's in epidemiology while i was a fellow as well the three or fellowship and then stayed on on the faculty so that's kind of where how got to wear i am now. And that's that's where i am today so i. I work fulltime at hopkins as pediatric allergy faculty member and i teach fellows and medical students and residents semisi patients. When i do a lot of.

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