KK: Great advice. Has it ever created conflict or controversy in your relationship?
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 37 – No 03 – March 2018
MP: Of course there is conflict, but like I said, in the end, you just need to keep your eye on what you want [as a couple]. What do you want to get out of the experience, and what do you want to give to the experience? If you can keep those things in perspective, which is not as easy as it sounds, then you can fight through it—and yes, sometimes you fight through things. I don’t know if you’ve met my wife, but she’s tough. I don’t think I’m telling any secrets.
KK: Like others who share a life with a physician, do you ever get the sense that it’s hard for Becky to separate her roles? She is clearly in a position of authority within emergency medicine, ACEP, and other professional circles. It’s very easy for that to carry over to one’s personal life.
MP: Yes. We worked that out a long time ago, but still you’re right. Once she gave up all of her practice management duties and could just focus on being a physician and a physician leader, I think that took a lot of the stress off of her. I think her stress levels have been quite manageable, even for a physician, and it’s made everything a lot easier from my perspective.
KK: You’re a very supportive spouse. What goals have you had that she’s been able to support you with?
MP: There are some teaching things that I wanted to do that she helped me with during the summer for most of her ACEP career, which was pretty great. Right now, my goals are to make sure that my children get into middle school. After that, I want to go back to doing some things that I wanted to do, and it’s worked out pretty well. I’m thinking about some baking opportunities and also some teaching opportunities. There were some compromises that I willingly made for her to do her presidency, knowing that when she was done, I would get to do some of the things I wanted to do. Those are some of the bargains you have to make going into a relationship.
KK: That’s great, and as you said before, communication is important. I’ve seen it in practice. You two have a great relationship. How has ACEP affected your two boys?