She is the mother of three young children and the wife of a brain surgeon. How does she find time to attend to the patients at her own obstetrics and gynecology practice?
"I manipulate things to get the most," explains Loren Frankel, M.D. of Palmetto Women’s Health in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. "Because I own the practice, I work the schedule so that I’m home most weekends and on Fridays. My daughters are excited because I’m even able to go on field trips with them sometimes."
Finding the balance between work and family can be a challenge for Dr. Frankel because her patients often need her services at unpredictable times.
"Trying to protect myself from the unplanned is hard in my line of work," Frankel admits, explaining that her patients’ needs sometimes conflict with family plans.
"Our children are very resilient. They understand that we have important jobs that aren’t the typical nine-to-five workplace."
Because Loren Frankel’s parents take an active part in the children’s lives and are available as back-up when needed, the family is able to handle the challenges of a household where both parents are practicing physicians.
"Our children are willing to make sacrifices and we try to make up for it when we can," Frankel explains.
Dr. Frankel has been in private practice since 1998, ultimately opening her own practice in Mount Pleasant in 2005. She has admitting privileges with Roper St. Francis Healthcare and East Cooper Medical Center.
Although well-established and successful, Frankel is aware of the difficulties that face her practice and the medical field as a whole in the future.
"There are many changes that will need to be made to ensure that doctors continue to practice. With malpractice rates as high as they are, it costs so much money to run a business, and insurance companies don’t want to pay, patients don’t want to pay and it adds a lot of extra stress on the day to day practice."
Like many women who choose to become physicians and have families, Dr. Frankel has endured criticism for her choices.
"It has come from different people including some PTA moms but I just have to shake it off. I’ve worked for men who didn’t get that I had a family to go home to but then again, during my residency, one male doctor was my champion. He delivered my first child."
Despite these issues, Frankel still regards the best moments in her career as being able to "help someone at a special moment in their lives. It’s wonderful to provide the actual listening that some patients need."
She has the best of both worlds and encourages other young women to understand that it is possible to have a successful career and a family.
"Go into medicine with reasonable expectations. Even in the most difficult fields, you can always find a balance and make it work."
For more information or to set up an appointment contact Loren at Palmetto Women's Health, 1300 Hospital Drive, Suite 380, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 or call (843) 884-2206 or visit www.pwhealthmp.com.
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