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“No matter what I do, I simply make sure my career does not infringe on personal time.”
[Editor’s Note: One of Physicians Practice’s questions for the Great American Physician survey asks physicians to rate how they feel about the practice of medicine. We invited survey participants to explain their answers in a personal essay.]
I am very happy in my career choice and my current job situation.
I chose to pursue reproductive endocrinology because of the intellectual challenges it provided, the science fiction aspects of the research, and the controlled lifestyle it afforded. The fact that my National Institutes of Health fellowship coincided with the early days of the in vitro fertilization revolution provided the promise of a booming subspecialty.
I have been fortunate to work and study under the pioneers of the field dating back to my medical school days at Yale University. While my first faculty position lacked the clinical volume I desired, my second position began as a perfect blend of academics and private practice. If it weren't for academic politics, I might have stayed longer.
I have been a member at Fertility Centers of Illinois for more than 20 years. I learned I like to practice medicine and prefer to have someone else run the practice and an administrator who handles the business ends. Fertility Centers gave me a team of physicians whom I had worked with previously or trained at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. I trusted them all. That allowed me to take a sufficient amount of time off-though not as much as my wife would've liked-without sacrificing our comfortable lifestyle.
Throughout my career, I have taken on extra jobs, including director of andrology lab, director of the endocrine lab, and director of risk management. These have also been satisfying endeavors.
Setting boundaries for work/life balance and using my vacation time was very important when my children were growing up, maybe more so now that I have grandchildren. I have always been able to spend time with all of them, not to mention my wife of 48 years.
No matter what I do, I simply make sure my career does not infringe on personal time. The right practice and the right people are the answers to the establishing work-life balance and ensuring a fulfilling professional and personal life.
I am grateful for my 37-year work history and that I learned to delegate responsibility. I am thankful that I also learned to never let my ego get in the way of a balanced lifestyle.
Edward Marut, MD, is a physician and IVF medical director in Highland Park, Ill.