I started listening to a podcast this morning. I came across it by recommendation from a fellow member of the TTC community on MyMindBodyBaby FB group. The podcast is ‘As a Woman‘ by Natalie Crawford MD, OBGYN and reproductive endocrinologist. Her first episode is called “What is your goal?”
My goal for this blog was always the same - to educate. In fact, Dr. Crawford and I share the same view - we both believe that knowledge is power.
I have only listened to a few episodes, but I feel like I can relate to her. We are both women in medicine. Yes, she’s pursued a rigorous residency in OBGYN, and I’m just a GP Veterinarian. But I want to specialize. I did my Master of Science in Reproduction. I had toyed with the idea of pursuing a residency in Theriogenology- the animal equivalent of an OBGYN. I have even collected oocytes using transvaginal ultrasound guided follicular aspiration, in cattle, but still. Though my goal now has changed, as I’m hoping for a residency in behaviour, I still feel like I can relate.
Dr. Crawford is also plant-based. I’ve been trying to transition to more of a plant-based lifestyle, just to be more healthy. We all fall off the wagon sometimes, but I try not to get mad at myself for it. I listened to the nutrition episode where Dr. Crawford is interviewed by internal medicine specialist Dr. Danielle Belardo. Episode 35 if you are interested.
She’s a self-proclaimed introvert - same.
She wants to reach a broader audience to educate them, and not be limited to just her direct patients, but to educate all women, on their bodies, fertility and careers. I also started this blog to do the same - follow my passion to educate.
She believes that it’s important to choose a career that you love - and it would be worth while to work hard for. To not go to work, leaving your babes at home for a mundane and unfulfilling work life. Yes, I agree!
So episode one: What is Your Goal?
Professional Goal #1: Become a Veterinarian ✅
I spent so many years pursuing veterinary medicine that I forgot about my personal goals. I got in to vet school at the age of 31, knowing full well that four years of vet school later I would be 35, of advanced maternal age. I was willing to make the sacrifice of possibly not being able to start a family, due to my career pursuits.
Personal Goal #1: Start a family ⏹
After moving and settling into a job in a small animal general practice, I met my now husband. By this time, I’m 37, and had told myself that if I hadn’t met someone good enough to father my children by the time I was 38, that I would pursue child-rearing on my own using a donor. I hadn’t gotten to the point of researching this, but I have a friend who is in a same-sex relationship, and therefore, we talked about going to the fertility clinic at the same time.
Professional Goal #2: Work as a General Practitioner ✅
My end goal in my career was not to be a GP - but to teach, to specialize, and teach in a clinical setting. I guess my reasons for being where I am now are two-fold. One: 75% of graduating veterinarians are going to be GPs and when you teach in a veterinary college, you need to be able to relate to your students. Specialists who have not worked in general practice have a completely different mindset than those 75% of students who do not wish to specialize. Two: I told myself that as soon as my Master’s was completed I need to focus on my personal goals.
That’s essentially where I’m at now. At some point, if you’re a women of childbearing age, and want to have children, then you need to stall your career goals in pursuit of your personal goals. I’m still learning, constantly, and my work is still fulfilling. But I want more out of my personal life. The time to act is now. A residency can always be pursued. But at some point, fertility will wane - which we are already experiencing.
So ask yourself, what is your goal?