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May 15, 2017

Dr. Audrey Lance is an assistant professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. She's the medical director of the outpatient clinic at Magee-Womens Hospital, and director of the Ryan Residency Training Program, a program aimed at improving family planning training for OB/GYN residents. She's basically a professional superhero for women's health.

Tell us about a recent time you felt really proud of yourself.

I try to be proud of myself, and live a life I'm proud of, every day. I'm proud of the relationships I've cultivated with my husband and friends, and that every day I get to make a real difference in my patients' lives. I feel especially awesome about being able to provide compassionate healthcare to women in a society that often judges everything they do. I'm also proud to stand up for my patients, and women in general, by advocating for them at all levels, from the bedside to state and national politics. The pics below are of me at the Women's March on Washington (left), and at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg (right) where I spoke a rally against legislation that would've been incredibly detrimental to the health of women in Pennsylvania.

I feel especially awesome about being able to provide compassionate healthcare to women in a society that often judges everything they do.

What's something about you that might surprise others?

This is a tough one! I'm a very open person so I don’t think there's much that people don’t know about me. I guess if people don’t know me well they might be surprised to know that I am a crier. I cry at everything: commercials, movies, facebook posts about animals getting rescued from storm drains and stuff like that. Actually, anything to do with animals will make me cry! I'm a passionate animal lover and use only cruelty-free cosmetics (see photo below for my go-to make-up picks), hair-care, toiletries and cleaning supplies. There, I guess that turned into something people might not know about me. 

 

I'm actually a passionate animal lover and use only cruelty-free cosmetics, hair-care, toiletries and cleaning supplies.

Biggest insecurity or fear, and how do you manage it?

I have a big case of imposter syndrome, as I think many successful women do! I've really been working on knowing my own value and having confidence in my abilities. I remember the first time I heard about imposter syndrome. I felt so relieved that there was a name for it and that I wasn't the only person who felt that way. After learning that so many women who I look up to also felt that way, I realized that this is actually a big problem among professional women. So now I try to challenge any hint of this mindset in the women I mentor. I still feel like any day someone’s going to discover that I'm not as capable or skilled as people think I am. But I’m working on it!

How do you recharge outside of work?

I didn't always take care of myself, and I think that's important to point out because many of us healthcare providers aren't taking care of ourselves...but I'm here to tell you that you can do it! Nowadays I do a bunch of different things to recharge. I try to run as much as possible - running is an amazing stress reliever - especially when it’s nice outside. I also love playing with my two dogs, Rudy and Tino, and spending time with my hubby. I love being outside, whether its hiking, walking the dogs or sitting on my back porch with a glass of wine listening to the sounds of the city. Oh, and I started making more time for leisure reading. I joined a feminist book club at an awesome independent bookstore near my house and have met so many great people there.

Advocacy is a fundamental part of caring for all patients and sometimes it requires us to make a stand outside the hospital or clinic walls. If there's anyone who can show us how this is done, it's Audrey. Please share this post with any friends or colleagues in healthcare who might be looking for ways to get more involved in their communities.

We love to hear about how healthcare professionals are doing the whole work-life balance thing. If you know someone who can teach us a thing or two, email us their details (with their permission, of course).

Inspired by Audrey? Follow her on instagram or twitter to see what she's up to.

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