MP: I think they believe that every time we go to a hotel they’re going to get the presidential suite, unfortunately. When that’s over, they’re going to be stunned. It’s been great. They did not participate a lot when Becky was on the ACEP Board. When Becky became President, we included them in everything. They got to meet a lot of children from around the country, which was a great experience for them, learning about things that they would never learn about otherwise if it wasn’t for ACEP.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 37 – No 03 – March 2018
KK: We must make certain we maintain a healthy work-life balance. What advice would you give to others who share a life with an emergency physician on maintaining that balance?
MP: Know your goals and stick to them. Know that you’re going to have to make some compromises if you’re married to a physician who’s going to serve the College and recognize as an absolute fact that the person serving is going to lose some perspective on the time drain. You’re going to have to remind them. The day Becky was done being President, I could see she started to relax a little bit. She came home and said to me, “I feel like I’ve been gone,” and I said, “You have been.” Now we are reintegrating into our nuclear family again.
KK: Any other thoughts or advice for people just handling the daily stresses of an emergency physician?
MP: Sometimes the physician just needs somebody to talk to without any advice or answers. I get that.
I think the stress isn’t any different than any other high-profile job. It’s going to test your mettle as a spouse. You should know what’s important to you and keep that in perspective. Sitting down with your spouse and saying, “These are the things I expect and need to do while you are doing what you do,” is very important. Becky always heard me or eventually heard me. It always worked out. That’s how we did it.
Call for Ideas
Emergency medicine is tough, and it would be ever tougher without the people who provide critical support at home, allowing emergency physicians to provide the best care possible. Do you know of a spouse, significant other, life partner, family member, or other individual we should interview for a future EM Pillars of Support column? We want to hear from you! Send your suggestion and a brief explanation of why they are a critical supporter of the EM community to firstname.lastname@example.org. We may feature them in a future issue.