Sponsor 7 Q+As with Candace McGregor, MD of Christie Clinic’s Department of OB/GYN. Thank you to our presenting sponsor, Christie Clinic—we couldn’t do all of this with out you… literally!
1. What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful today for the small moments with my children. The moments where I catch my 5year old daughter doing something surprisingly generous or kind even though she doesn’t know I’m watching. I am grateful for the look my 10year old son sneaks at me as he is walking up to home plate to face a really tough baseball pitcher – he knows I am there and that comforts him.
2. Tell us about one of your friends and what you love about her.
I am proud to call Christina Francis my friend. She is the most altruistic person I know. After finishing our OB/GYN residency she has spent 3 of the last 5 years working without a salary at a very rural clinic in the mountains of Kenya serving a wonderfully warm hearted people who have so little in material things. She truly cares for those in need. Medicine is very pure there. In that world, health care is not stained by insurance, government regulations, and malpractice. It is simply a person using her knowledge, time, and effort to provide healing or basic comfort to those brought to her. She has given up so much but she would be the first to tell you how much she has gained.
3. Describe one of the best days of your life.
My husband and I share a passion for Indianapolis Colts football. And, when I say passion, I mean fanaticism! We go all out: blue wig, blue face paint, and our favorite player’s jersey. We had been scrimping and saving money through medical school and residency to go to Hawaii for our fifth wedding anniversary when we found out that our beloved Colts were going to play our arch enemy, the New England Patriots, for the right to go to the SuperBowl. We made the decision right away that we were not going to miss this. So we took every penny of that money and bought our tickets. Oh, it was worth it. Together, we watched one of the most unbelievable comebacks in sports history that night. That game was a night we both look back on together and know that even though we still haven’t made it to Hawaii, we have cherished memories of sharing that adrenaline packed evening.
4. What’s the best lesson you learned from your mother/grandmother?
During an exquisitely painful summer internship doing research in medical school, I was used and abused by my faculty mentor. He was one of the most awful people I have even known. He would yell obscenities at you, tell you that you were absolutely worthless, and even throw scissors at you if you didn’t get the outcome you were seeking with your experiments. I would break down and cry every night before bed knowing that when I awoke, I was going to have to face that torment again. One Sunday evening my mom shared this insight. She said “He only has as much power to hurt you as you offer up to him. Take back that power.” That changed my entire outlook on the remaining weeks I had to serve under him. Each morning I would savor my mom’s words. Then when he would yell and scream in my face, I actually had to try my hardest not to laugh at him. She was right, he couldn’t hurt me unless I let him. I grew exponentially during that experience and I am much, much stronger having learned that lesson.
5. We’re all unique. What is your special gift?
I think my gift is that of teaching. I love to learn, and I love to share the knowledge I gain with others. I serve in teaching roles for my partners and with the nursing staff in our department of OB/GYN. I also teach medical students in several courses throughout their curriculum. I have been blessed with two teaching awards during my three years on faculty with the medical school, and they mean a great deal to me. I have been told that sometimes a student has read or has heard a teaching point several different times but then when I explain it, it just suddenly makes sense. That brings me sincere joy. I am thankful for the opportunity to teach others and to think that it is making a difference in the care provided by these current and future medical practitioners.
6. What could women be doing to make their community a better place?
I think we all (myself included) could do a better job of opening our eyes to the needs of those around us and then making it our mission to serve those needs. How often, do we because we are in a hurry or maybe we are a bit jaded, see people and ignore the needs right in front of us? It is so easy to place a check in the church basket or send a few dollars to our charity of choice and then use that as our excuse not to actually get out there and help people. On our walk to the Colt’s football stadium, my husband and I pass by several homeless people stooped on the edge of the sidewalk. I am guilty of averting my eyes so that I don’t actually look at them. I ignored their needs. How ashamed I am of those times. Now, we have started taking a bag of groceries to each of these people. It isn’t all that much of a financial gift, but they are so appreciative. I think if women would open our eyes to the needs around us and use the compassionate hearts we have been given, we could in small ways make a big difference.
7. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
I would move to the beach. I would live a simple life enjoying simples pleasures and the beauty of the ocean. Of course, my fear of becoming homeless and my children starving continues to keep me here – secure in my job and the really nice life we have built here. For now I will settle with the yearly trek to South Carolina to fill my need for the sand, sun, and waves.