The many possible careers in the field of women’s health Frum
(left to right) âYael Bree Greenberg, 4th year medical student; Racheli Sambrowsky, 3rd year dental student; Diana Safier, medical assistant; Dr Miriam Knoll, radiation oncologist; Dassie Nelkenbaum, nurse; Bracha Schoenblum, physiotherapist; Yocheved Teitelbaum, occupational therapist
Media representations of doctors, nurses and other health professionals focus on crises and long hours away from home. We rarely hear of medical professionals returning home to cook their family’s dinner, to shop for Yom Tov clothes or attend chiourim. Women who want to raise large families and participate in community life must search intensively for role models in medicine and health care.
To give a more realistic idea of ââhow frum women succeed in careers in medicine and health sciences, Touro College presented a program for girls and women that featured women who integrate community, professional and personal roles. Six Touro health science students and alumni spoke about their experiences from undergraduate to graduate school and beyond. Their professions included medicine, dentistry, physician assistants (PA), physiotherapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) and nursing. The women discussed all aspects of their careers: why they chose their particular fields, how to be successful in their studies, the challenges and opportunities, and the potential for work-life balance.
Many spoke of the opportunities offered by Touro to ease their paths along their educational journeys – from kosher food, an academic program based on the Jewish calendar, to a community of frum students on the campus of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry which offers Shabbatons, pre-Yom Tov gatherings, Torah lessons and the support network of frum students in therapy programs who have developed study partnerships and deep friendships. Like frum women, they described how they are able to balance multiple priorities – including marriage, child rearing and community engagement – and be successful in their training and enjoying their careers at the same time.
Real women share their stories
Yael Bree Greenberg, a fourth-year medical student at Touro’s New York Medical College, explained that medicine is a “great career for those who love science, love people, and aren’t afraid to spend many years in school. ‘school”. She stressed that medical education is a long term commitment. Students can expect to spend 12 years obtaining their undergraduate degrees, medical degrees, and completing residencies. However, she said, “if you have a vision for your long term goal, you can do it and you will be happy to do it.” Greenberg is married with a baby and is currently applying for residency programs in Anesthesiology.
Racheli Sambrowsky is a third year dental student at Touro College of Dental Medicine. She described dentistry as an area with enormous potential for growth. âYou have to make quick decisions, think quickly, solve problems. Ultimately, there is nothing more rewarding than a patient thanking you for stopping their pain or fixing their smile, âshe said. Listen at Racheli’s presentation.
Dassie Nelkenbaum, emergency room nurse at Maimonides Medical Center, is passionate about nursing, which she describes as âthe art of healing in scienceâ. The work is intense, but she didn’t want it to be any other way. Listen to Dassie’s presentation.
Achieve work-life balance
One concern that may prevent women from pursuing careers in the health sciences is the potential for work-life balance. Several of the panelists refuted this misconception, noting that their fields offer opportunities to switch between full-time and part-time work throughout a career.
Bracha Schoenblum, doctor of physiotherapy, has a private practice in Woodmere and has four children. She said, âYou can work in a hospital full time or part time. You can have your own practice or work for someone else. You can work in places you probably haven’t considered. Companies hire physiotherapists with expertise in ergonomics. Performing arts organizations also need PT. Your strengths will guide you to the areas you love. Listen at the presentation of Bracha.
Diana Safier has been an assistant to the family doctor for seven years. A mother of five who got married early in college, she chose PA because it allowed her “to get to where I wanted to go in just two years.” I knew I wanted to treat patients, but I didn’t want the stress of running my own practice. She enjoys her job and works part-time, which allows her to take care of her family and volunteer in the community, including running a gemach. âPA is a flexible field; you can work full time or part time and change specialty at any time. Listen to Diana’s presentation.
Yocheved Teitelbaum, an occupational therapist, pointed out the many different environments occupational therapists can work in, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools and sensory gyms. âI love occupational therapy because it’s a dynamic area where you have the opportunity to interact with people all day long, helping them at vulnerable times in their lives. It’s a flexible career as long as it’s possible to work part-time, change environments mid-career and achieve a work-life balance, âshe explained.
Dr Miriam “Mimi” Knoll of Cedarhurst, a certified radiation oncologist and mother of four who also co-founded the Jewish Orthodox Womens Medical Association (JOWMA) offered guidance. âEach woman decides how to lead her life in her own way. From the mentorship of dozens of young women, I can tell you that there isn’t an answer for everyone. She encouraged young women to explore their passions, find what is most meaningful to them, and believe in themselves. Listen at the presentation of Miriam.
âYour responsibility is to do what speaks to YOU. Throughout your career, be sure to keep checking in with that little voice in your head. It’s the voice that tells you I want to develop my talents, make the world a better place, give back to the world and make a difference, âKnoll said.