It is with a sad heart that I am announcing that I will be leaving Capital Women’s Care on November 5th.
I can remember like it was yesterday, a snowy evening during the winter of 1978, that I bundled up and went outside to sweep off and warm up my dad’s car. He was headed into Howard County General Hospital to help a patient in labor. Although this was over forty years ago, I can vividly remember how much I wanted to be a physician, to be able to care for people, and to be able to follow in my parents’ footsteps.
Over the years I have been very fortunate to have been able to realize that dream and to have been able to work together with my father and work within the same community of Columbia/Howard County.
Several years ago, my father having retired, and having sold the practice of Esposito, Mayer, and Hogan, to Johns Hopkins Medicine, I decided to leave and join Drs. Richards and Davis at Capital Women’s Care. My children were in middle school, and I wanted the opportunity to spend more time with family before they grew up and were out of the house. The last nine years at Capital Women’s Care have been wonderful. I have had the opportunity to meet and started caring for so many new patients but also to continue to see patients that I had started caring for over twenty-five years ago.
Over the last year I have been struggling with the decision to stop Obstetrics. The passion of caring for patients during pregnancy is definitely still there, but the realities of growing older, the hours of time needed to devote to the specialty, and the lost time with family eventually catches up with all of us. Unfortunately, Obstetrics, given the economics of medicine and malpractice, isn’t a practice that can be done part time. This leads most Obstetrician Gynecologists to change the scope of their practice to just Gynecology. Until recently this was my plan.
Four years ago, I stepped foot back on Kenyon College, a small liberal arts campus where I was an undergraduate. My daughter was a matriculating freshman, and it has been a long time since I had returned to where I was my former young adult self. Over the last couple of years, return trips to the campus have reminded me of the aspirations and dreams I had so many years ago. Of all those things I wanted to accomplish when I “grew up.” Although this was mostly reminiscing, it turns out it has had a large impact on my future decisions.
I have recently been presented an opportunity to help work at the Maryland Department of Health to help run the clinical side of the State of Maryland Medicaid program. I will be getting the opporunity and responsibility for making the medical decisions regarding clinical issues for all Medicaid recipients, to develop and implement program policy, quality measures, and develop clinical practice guidelines. I will also get to represent the Medicaid Program at both state and federal committees and advisory groups.
Physicians are acutely aware that there comes a time when each of us has to make the decision about when it’s best to stop clinical medicine. Obviously a very difficult decision that is not just about us individually, and our well being, but also about what’s best for our loved ones and families. After alot of thought and much careful consideration that time has come for me. This new opportunity will hopefully allow me to take the medical knowledge I have gathered over the years and utilize it to fulfil a desire to make a lasting impact on the lives of so many more of the families who make up our community.
I have enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to have practiced both obstetrics and gynecology, at Capital Women’s Care. A practice that truly understands the importance of proving quality individualized professional care in a time when medicine has become so impersonal and institutionalized. I will truly miss the rewards and clinical challenges of our specialty. I’ll also miss the collegiality of working with our staff, office providers, and with the other nursing and medical providers within our community. Most importantly I will also miss our patients, especially those long-standing patients with whom I had the absolute privilege to have been trusted to help them through, and be a part of, some of the most important phases of their lives. I can’t imagine anything else professionally that can be anywhere near equally rewarding.
It’s sad to step away, especially after almost thirty years in the same community, but I have been sincerely bless to have realized those aspirations I had so many years ago, and I’m comforted by the fact that our patients will be in good hands.