By Jillian Lopiano MD MPH FACOG, Betty’s Co. Medical Director
Betty’s Co. is the next generation of integrative healthcare – providing gynecology, mental health, and healthy living care for the period-havers up to pregnancy-planners. Women’s health is surrounded by stigmas and taboo topics, often preventing them from accessing the care they need. “Is This Normal?” is an ongoing Q&A series we host to give our “Betties” the space to ask the awkward questions, develop body literacy, and ultimately normalize women’s health.
For this special edition of “Is This Normal?” Betty’s Medical Director, Dr. LoPiano, answered three questions submitted by female pre-med students at UTSA about her role as something once considered very abnormal – a woman in medicine.
What is your favorite thing about being a woman in medicine?
Using my medical skills and life experiences to protect, educate and empower other women brings me the deepest joy. From medical school, residency, and marriage to motherhood and sexism in the workplace – I get to draw from a rich pool of experiences and come alongside patients to connect with them, wherever they are in their lives and health journeys.
When I started my career, I wanted to treat women. But as I’ve grown into leadership positions, I’ve had the privilege to teach, interview, hire and mentor young women that have proved to be equally powerful and fulfilling as the MD aspects of this work.
What are you looking forward to in the future of health and medicine?
Inclusivity in healthcare is in the middle of a tremendous revolution. Let me be clear, we still have a lot of work to do! However, in comparison to the start of my career, I’m seeing awareness and tangible actions taken to provide equal care for women of color, trans-women and men, women in same-sex relationships, or different types of relationships. Only now are we beginning to acknowledge and understand the unique needs of each population and, as we say at Betty’s Co., “Normalize to Revolutionize” women’s healthcare.
What are a few tips + advice for women going into medicine?
Stay true to yourself – your ideas, values, career vision, and unique you-ness! Because not everyone will “get it,” in fact, most won’t – and that’s okay! Remain authentic to who you are and what you want, and allow it to power you through hard seasons.
Also, if you work an overnight shift, always get out of bed to see the patient. Wherever you work, find the patient water machine and bathrooms. Give positivity and generosity, and say “Good morning!” to everyone, no matter how early. Thank the cleaning staff, the techs, and the nurses. Be the occasional bearer of donuts to the office. Invest in a good coffeemaker and large travel mug.
Last but not least, medicine can be hard, so take the win and relish a good belly laugh every chance you get.
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