Anne Holly Johnson, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Foot & Ankle Center, specializes in helping people get back to their pre-injury level of activity, whether that is running ultra-marathons, playing collegiate ice hockey or simply walking for exercise. Here Dr. Johnson discusses her work in health care and how more women and girls can be encouraged to enter the sciences.

How long have you worked at Mass General?

8 years

What is special about Mass General?

Mass General is an incredible place. To me, my colleagues make this place so special. In each specialty, Mass General has leaders in the field. I know that when I need to reach out to a physician in another subspecialty, I will be getting medical advice from an absolute expert. The incredible breadth of talent in the physicians makes Mass General a special place to work.

Have you encountered any challenges on your journey as a woman, and if so, how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I face now is managing an effective work-life balance. As a mother of three and the wife of a professional man in finance, managing my practice and my homelife becomes more and more challenging every day. Sometime this scale tips too far in one direction or the other, and I need to reset my priorities. During these times I try to step back and look carefully at what I've accomplished, and what my goals are going forward, both for my own career and for my family. I remind myself that I do not have to sacrifice one job to be good at another. First and foremost come my family and my patients, and then the other demands of being an academic surgeon fall in line.

How can we encourage more women and girls to enter the sciences?

Establish more mentoring between students and women in science is critical to this endeavor. Women need to actively reach out to other women and always offer encouragement, support and advice in their individual field. Introducing young girls to science and medicine from grade school onward is also so important. Girls need to see women in leadership roles in the fields of science and medicine to understand that they can be there, too.