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Spotlight: Physician Moms Group a Valued Resource
“We’re all in this together.” It’s a phrase that has been spoken more in the past year than ever before, and with good reason. It’s nice to know that when we’re going through challenging times, we have others we can rely upon who understand our struggles. Whether it’s navigating a complex occupation or a particular phase in life, it’s essential to have a support system who just gets it.
The Physician Moms Group is just that. It’s a collection of women who show up for one another in all facets of life—from new motherhood through the challenging teen years and beyond—all while juggling demanding careers as physicians.
Since being founded on Facebook in 2014 by Dr. Hala Sabry, the group known as PMG has amassed over 115,000 physician moms as members and now features its own website (mypmg.com). PMG has turned into a global enterprise that provides comradery and friendship mixed in with medical and work-related advice, all while advocating for better race and gender equality among physicians.
According to its website, PMG has a set of three core values that connect and lead its members: Education, Diversity, and Collaboration and Partnerships.
Education: “PMG hosts thousands of discussions yearly on topics affecting our roles as a parent and physician in current times. PMG believes in Evidence-Based Medicine, supporting research with our PMG research committee and hosting yearly retreats and national medical conferences.”
Diversity: “In a world in which racism and discrimination are rampant, we believe that the antidote is knowledge of these topics, amplifying voices of minority and marginalized groups and advocating for them in hopes to create a generational change for a more liberated and equitable future.”
Collaboration and Partnerships: “The PMG community is proud to partner and collaborate with organizations and companies that share the similar goals of supporting women, physicians and patients.”
When asked about the group’s mission, Dr. Sabry said, “As medical professionals and moms, we are constantly juggling career and family. The PMG mission is to provide resources, a platform to network, and an opportunity to share information with like-minded individuals. The PMG network includes over 115,000 certified physicians of all specialties. Our membership spans the globe and is comprised of physicians who graduated from medical school holding degrees of MD, DO or MBBS.”
But, why do Physician Moms need their own individual support group? Let us count the ways, starting with the unique challenges that physicians face that many other professionals do not—including the undeniably unbalanced work-life balance.
Add childbirth and child rearing and extra-curricular activities and school demands and getting well-balanced meals on the table, and it’s clear that a support system of women in similar situations isn’t just nice to have, it’s sanity saving. It’s the difference between feeling isolated and knowing that there are other women who are right alongside them dealing with the same exact circumstances.
Another reason PMG is so popular? Until it was founded in 2014, there simply wasn’t an outlet for physicians who were also mothers to support one another—at least not one of this magnitude. In fact, according to a segment on the group that was recently televised on the Today show, resources and support for physician moms continue to remain scarce even today. “I thought that the only options I had were to be a mom or be a doctor—I couldn’t do both,” Dr. Sabry said in the segment.
Prior to founding the Physician Moms group, Sabry recounted being turned down for a hospital leadership position in 2014 because her manager told her he worried the position would interfere with her being “a good mother.” In that moment, the Physician Moms Group was born. “We’re expected to mother like we don’t have a job and we’re expected to work like we don’t have families, and that’s impossible,” Dr. Sabry said. “We’re gonna change the narrative.”
That narrative, according to GI specialist and mother of three young children, Dr. Latifat Alli-Akintade, includes black women making up only 2% of the physician population—meaning they are often the only black female physician in their hospital. She says PMG helps her to feel less isolated while also connecting her with similar doctors across the world.
“If you’re a woman of color, black, brown, even with your white coat and a sign that says ‘Physician’ on your forehead, you will still walk into the room and people would go, ‘Someone’s here to pick up my tray,” Dr. Alli-Akintade said. “When we’re able to discuss this with other people, then there get to be voices that amplify us even more.”
PMG, which features several posts per day on its Facebook page, runs the gamut in terms of topics discussed. Mixed among links to relevant telehealth conferences are an array of informative news articles. There are often physicians seeking opinions on challenging cases, time management tools and countless congratulatory posts for fellow female physicians who have received certain accolades in their particular fields.
Above all else, though, is one common denominator: a community of connection. They’re connecting on not only a professional level, but a personal one as well. They’re forming professional bonds with women in their field and emotional bonds with women who are dealing with all of the highs and lows that come along with raising children in today’s landscape.
No one knows what it’s like to continually seek the right balance between mom and physician—except now, 115,000 other women do. And they’re all in it together.
Physicians Angels is the industry’s first virtual scribe company, providing real-time documentation directly into the physician’s EMR. Our services save the physician an average of 10 hours per week, thereby improving patient throughput and contributing to a better work/life balance for the physician. To learn more, visit physiciansangels.com or contact us.
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