Jennifer Smith, MD, a fellow with the Sports Medicine Center, 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?
As an active duty Navy Orthopaedic Surgeon, I am only here for one year for my fellowship.
What do you like most about your job?
I love working with athletes and other active individuals who are extremely motivated to get better and be active participants in their healthcare. Working with power tools on a daily basis is just an added bonus.
Why is Women’s History Month important to you?
Women’s History Month is important to me because although I have encountered some challenges in my journey to become an orthopaedic surgeon, there were many woman before me who had it more difficult and worked to make my path easier. My goal is to decrease the number of obstacles that future female surgeons confront in pursuit of their career goals.
What is one piece of advice you would give a woman entering the field of medicine and/or healthcare?
Specifically for women interested in entering the field of surgery, I would advise them to ignore the stereotypes and find female mentors. In addition, having a family and being a female surgeon is possible; it just requires some flexible planning and a supportive partner/family.
What advice do you have for women to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Mom guilt is real, but remember that being a mom and a surgeon still requires some ‘me’ time. Staying active (by running, in my case) and taking some personal time every week helps you to be the best mom and surgeon you can be.