Family Planning for Docs - Thriving or Surviving?

Thriving or Surviving with Dr. Sharon Domb

September 11, 2023 Family Planning for Docs Team Season 1 Episode 16
Thriving or Surviving with Dr. Sharon Domb
Family Planning for Docs - Thriving or Surviving?
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Family Planning for Docs - Thriving or Surviving?
Thriving or Surviving with Dr. Sharon Domb
Sep 11, 2023 Season 1 Episode 16
Family Planning for Docs Team

“Part of what physician wellness ends up being is your ability to balance your career with your parenting goals” - Dr. Sharon Domb

In this episode, we chat with Dr. Sharon Domb, an academic family physician at Sunnybrook Hospital, with a fellowship in women’s health and obstetrics. We talk about changes in maternity leave policies, the importance of soul searching in medical school, and her relationships with her children. We also hear about Dr. Domb’s thoughts on using priorities to guide important career and personal life decisions.

We appreciate your feedback - please leave a comment and subscribe so you never miss a new episode!


Contact Information

Dr. Sharon Domb, M.D.


Dr. Domb is a family physician who has been practicing full-spectrum obstetrical care for over 20 years. After completing a residency in family medicine she pursued additional training through a fellowship in women’s health and obstetrics. Dr. Domb teaches obstetrical skills to residents and has taught numerous obstetrical emergency skills courses to physicians and midwives. She has been the recipient of multiple teaching awards. Dr. Domb is passionate about the critical and unique role that family physicians play in the provision of obstetrical care to women, while integrating the needs of their families.

Show Notes Transcript

“Part of what physician wellness ends up being is your ability to balance your career with your parenting goals” - Dr. Sharon Domb

In this episode, we chat with Dr. Sharon Domb, an academic family physician at Sunnybrook Hospital, with a fellowship in women’s health and obstetrics. We talk about changes in maternity leave policies, the importance of soul searching in medical school, and her relationships with her children. We also hear about Dr. Domb’s thoughts on using priorities to guide important career and personal life decisions.

We appreciate your feedback - please leave a comment and subscribe so you never miss a new episode!


Contact Information

Dr. Sharon Domb, M.D.


Dr. Domb is a family physician who has been practicing full-spectrum obstetrical care for over 20 years. After completing a residency in family medicine she pursued additional training through a fellowship in women’s health and obstetrics. Dr. Domb teaches obstetrical skills to residents and has taught numerous obstetrical emergency skills courses to physicians and midwives. She has been the recipient of multiple teaching awards. Dr. Domb is passionate about the critical and unique role that family physicians play in the provision of obstetrical care to women, while integrating the needs of their families.

Radha Sharma: Welcome to Season 1 Episode 16 of Family Planning for Docs - Thriving or Surviving. This podcast is an extension of our platform at, a website created for Canadian medical trainees to highlight useful information about family planning in a medical career. Our group has a mission to inform medical trainees about their options regarding family planning while navigating training career and a personal life. Our research has demonstrated that personal stories are highly impactful, and we hope to provide access to a diverse number of stories to current trainees. On our podcast we hope to capture the stories of medical professionals who've navigated the training process and a medical career while planning parenthood, parenting, and the supports that they had along the way.

Radha Sharma: In this episode, we have Dr. Sharon Domb. We are thrilled to have you on our podcast today and thank you on behalf of the entire team for taking the time to sit and chat with me and share your story.

Sharon Domb: Thanks, Radha, My pleasure. 

Radha Sharma: So I'm going to start with the first question today. What does a day in the life of Dr. Domb look like?

Sharon Domb: So my days are varied. And I will start off by saying, that's actually one of the things that really contributed to my ability to have some balance. So I am in an academic position in family medicine. So I am doing sort of half time clinic half time admin, etc. So I generally have 2 full days and one half day of clinical work per week. which has morphed over time. So it's now generally, you know, half a day virtual, and 4 half days of in person, just depending on when my teaching commitments are. I do a lot of IT work. So I’m our IT lead. I do our financial stuff. I'm a managing partner. And I was our division head for 20 years. So I did that as well. So the balance and that's why I'm saying it, did contribute, because I'm not seeing patients from 9 to 5, or 8 to 6, 5 days a week, I had the ability to sort of, you know, work some of those things around my schedule. So if I needed to be able to come home to deal with something with kids at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on a non clinical day, I was able to do that and pick up and do my work, you know, in the evening, or at a time that worked for me. So I will tell you that did provide me with some flexibility. I didn't know it at the time when I decided to go into an academic career. because I hadn't had my kids yet when I chose that route. But it worked out beautifully for me in terms of being able to have the flexibility that I needed.

Radha Sharma: Amazing. And I love hearing different physicians’ perspectives on that idea of flexibility, as we see more conversation about work/life balance. It sounds like you have a lot of flexibility in your career which is awesome. For our listeners that might be interested, can you walk us through what the training process was like for you to now be in an academic position as a physician?

Sharon Domb: Sure. so I will just backtrack, though, to add to the other question that we had, I forgot to tell you that I also deliver babies. 

Radha Sharma: Oh yeah! 

Sharon Domb: And so that's another aspect that you know, that was a trickier aspect to be able to, you know, do with young kids. So I did soft calls, so I delivered most of my own patients for 25 years, and only stopped doing that at the beginning of the pandemic, so that required a very supportive and available spouse. So I can get to that after. But to return to your sort of second question, what was my training like? So I did my medical school training at U of T and my residency in family medicine at U of T. And then I did a fellowship in women's health and obstetrics. And then I went right into my current job, where I've been for 28 years directly from my fellowship. I did the - it's a plus one in women's health, and I combined it with women's health and obstetrics. 

Radha Sharma: Oh, cool. 

Sharon Domb: So, it was a third year as part of the family medicine training. 

Radha Sharma: Our goal of the podcast is to chat with you and others about how they fit their family plans while also balancing this incredible medical career. What inspired you to start a family? How did you know that you wanted to be a mom?

Sharon Domb: So I think I've always kind of known that I wanted to have a family. I got married in my fellowship year. So, having a kid during residency was not on my horizon. I was fortunate that I finished medical school pretty young. I was 24 when I finished, so I didn't feel an imminent rush to have kids immediately, and wasn't in a position to, because I wasn't with, well, I was with my partner at that point but we weren't married yet. So I was working at Sunnybrook in my job, for I think 2, 3 years before I got pregnant. So I felt like I, and I was 29 when I had my first, so I still felt like I was kind of in a timeline that worked for me, for us. but had had a chance to, you know have a couple of years under my belt in my job. So it was not an issue that I was trying to balance during residency, or fellowship training. So that's, you know, an added either challenge or benefit for people depending on how they look at it. But not one that I can comment on that I dealt with personally.

Radha Sharma: Actually my next question, and I ask all our guests this is because everyone's had their children at different times in their career, and whether that's training as a resident like you said, or in practice, I feel like there are unique challenges to each of those phases. Did you experience any of those challenges? Maybe with, you know, maternity leave or having someone you know, with locum coverage. Was that something that you navigated through?

Sharon Domb: I was in a supportive practice, and was not the one paving the way through that. So you know, fortunately there had been other people in my practice who had taken off maternity leaves and been able to negotiate that. So I was not the first one trying to deal with that. So that made it a little bit easier in terms of you know, having somebody else that had paved the way. So I didn't feel like I was the first one in you know my area trying to take a mat leave. So that's certainly, you know, made it easier. Financially, we had some support from maternity leave at that point, I mean, it was different, it was in the pre one year maternity leave option in the pre OMA top up era. So we didn't have that financial option. But there was some top up from the university at that point which no longer exists, but it did at the time.

Radha Sharma: Oh, interesting. See, those policy changes have been so ever-evolving. 

Radha Sharma: Did you have any mentors or role models that you looked to? I know you said that you weren't the one specifically paving the way. But were there others that you kind of leaned on for support to, you know check in on how they balanced it all?

Sharon Domb: Yeah. And I mean, I think, certainly throughout my training. I tried to ask, you know, working moms whenever I had the opportunity, how they balance things and what worked and what didn't for them. And I encourage trainees to ask their mentors that. And when you're working with the preceptor, don't be shy about asking those kinds of questions like, tell me how you balance this, and how do you you manage this? And how do you do things? Because I think that's really something that you need to understand. And when you're in medical school, before you pick a specialty, you need to really do some soul searching. And it's often a challenging time, because a lot of people in med school sort of aren't with a partner, aren't really thinking that clearly about what parenthood is gonna look like to them and really don't necessarily ask themselves those sort of questions about you know, how would I balance this? Would it be an issue to me, or would it bother me if I had to leave the the house at 7 o'clock in the morning, and didn't see my kids in the morning, or would I be fine with that? And you know what, when you're 22 or 23, you're not necessarily asking yourself those questions. Those are the things that later you're making a career choice before being in a position where you're considering those you know, philosophical issues. And a lot of us bring those things into our own parenting from our own upbringing right? But we don't necessarily sit down and think about it. What made me turn out into the you know, person I am and I think we can all look at our own parents and say, okay, well, these are the things I think my parents did really well, and I would replicate. And these are the things I think my parents did really poorly, and I would never replicate. And you know, when we become parents, we do it our own way, which is an amalgamation of the things we think worked and not doing the things we didn't, you know, didn't think worked. And then we make our own mistakes. which our kids will then tell us about. But I think you know where that comes into being a really important issue as a trainee is, you need to really start asking yourself those questions like, what kind of a parent do I want to be? Which is hard when you're not in that situation where you're considering it yet. But you have to pick a career path and you need to think about that, because part of what physician wellness ends up being is your ability to balance your career with your parenting goals and your parenting goals might not be the same thing as somebody else's parenting goals, and you may feel like you don't want your kids being brought to school every day by nanny, but that might not be important to somebody else. Right? And that's why I'm saying you really need to think to yourself what are the things that are important to you? And how do you envision bringing up your own family and how would that balance with the career choice that you’re thinking about?

Radha Sharma: That is definitely such sound advice. I think of this podcast as, if someone wanted to ask these physicians these questions, what they would be and kind of have structured it in that way. It’s true, we don't really think about these things until we get into residency, or even thereafter. So I think if we start thinking about those priorities and things that we do care about and want to integrate as a parent one day or you know, even if you don't want to have kids knowing what family will look like while also having this career are very important things to think about that we oftentimes don't do.

Radha Sharma: I know you mentioned that you have a very supportive, or you had a very supportive husband at that time when you were taking call. 

Sharon Domb: Yeah. 

Radha Sharma: Is he still a support system for you? Who else is in your corner? Who is part of Dr. Domb's village?

Sharon Domb: So I had a great village, and that is 100% contributory to why I was able to do what I did. So yes, my husband is still amazing and supportive and plays a very active role in our family life. Our kids are now grown, and I'm sure we'll get to that later. But yes, he was absolutely a very equal parent with our kids. So my husband's an actuary. So he has been working all along, too. But he absolutely dovetailed with me to make sure that we equally parented and picked up a lot of slack and was available, you know, if I had to get called out to do a delivery he was around and he actually took parental leave with both of our kids, which was an unusual thing to do in those days. And I would tell any of the listeners here that you really need to think about that, it was such a phenomenal experience for him, and from a parenting perspective I'll say this, but a lot of us as moms sometimes feel like we know best, and I see this in my practice. I deal with tons of parents because I deliver babies. So it's an interesting thing, you know. None of us are born knowing how to parent and parenting is not something that anybody learns by reading a textbook, and it's something that we all learn by experience and we become confident through that experience. And you know by nature of the beast that you know when you're breastfeeding, or you're the one home on mat leave as the mother, you're the one that's taking care of the majority of things at the beginning. But what that actually creates is a lack of opportunity for the dad to get as involved in a hands on ways and a lack of ability for the dad to actually develop competence and parenting to the same extent, and I think that's the mistake that families make in not ensuring that the dad has the same, you know, access and ability to do things on his own with the kid, without Mom sitting there sort of parroting and saying, Do it this way, do it that way, because she is the quote unquote, expert. But she's only the expert because she's had more opportunity to do things.

Sharon Domb: So it was actually a great experience that my husband was off on parental leave because he was off when I was not off. Which meant that he full force what it was like to be home with a baby all day, and to do things and had to do everything. It's not the same as taking parental leave when the mom is home. Right? He was off on his own, had to do everything he had to do, feeding, changing, cleaning diapers, whatever he did everything. So it was a really excellent start. And again, I don't think that's something that we recognized at the beginning when it was actually happening, but it really gave him a very solid foundation, so that he was equally comfortable to me in terms of dealing with the kids, and they were equally comfortable with him. So it was a really great thing to do. And again in hindsight, we didn't recognize it at the time. We also had 4 grandparents at the time that were in town, and that was a huge help, and I think part of our village and part of what gave us balance is that we used to go to our parents on Friday nights for dinner, and we used to alternate where we went, and the parents kept the kids overnight.

Radha Sharma: Oh, wow! 

Sharon Domb: That was amazing, because it actually, you know, gave us - we had nice family time with the family on Friday night, and then we had alone time on, usually till sort of mid afternoon on Saturday. So it was a really nice break after a work week for us to be able to have some downtime without the kids, and to be able to have some time together without them. So that was a really healthy thing, and obviously we were very fortunate that we had the grandparents in town, and it was a really good, you know, experience for the grandparents to be able to have the grandkids to themselves without the parents there, and for the kids, the grandkids to have their grandparents, and so that, you know, time with them was invaluable in terms of building relationships as well. So I do recognize that we are very lucky to have that opportunity. But it is certainly something that contributed to our own sort of wellness and sanity as working parents of young kids.

Radha Sharma: It sounds like it truly was a village when I asked that question originally, yeah.

Radha Sharma: I'm gonna talk a little bit about your kids. You mentioned that you have 2 children, am I right? 

Sharon Domb: Yup. We've got 2 daughters. They are now 25 and 22. 

Radha Sharma: 25 and 22.

Radha Sharma: Some of the things that other guests on our podcast have talked about that do have adult children is how their perspectives about you and your career change over time. I'm wondering if you've had experiences seeing their perspectives change, perhaps, first, as you know, a younger child, and seeing you go to work all the time versus now, being adults?

Sharon Domb: Yeah. So It's an interesting question. I'll address the kids perspectives. I also want to address my perspective, because that changed as well. So I certainly have very vivid recollections of being, you know, dropping my kids off at school when they were younger and you know, being that Mom, who was dropping the kids off and not going standing in the school yard. And you know, starting until 9: 30, because I had to drop them off and get to work. And you know, I remember feeling at that time like, you know, I'm not doing my job well, as a mom. And you know, is this gonna come back to bite me later? And are my kids gonna be resentful? And I remember thinking that for a long time, and you know, am I doing something that's going to negatively impact them? And I think it's always tricky, right? Because there's always going to be those, you know, I hate to say 2 camps. But there's always going to be, you know, the working moms and the non working moms. And then you always, you know, kind of feel like, you know, you're not always available at the last minute when the teacher asked for somebody to go on a school trip and sends out the email the day before. So there was sort of some element of feeling like, well, I can't. I'm not gonna have that flexibility. And what's the downside of that gonna be. I can tell you now, at the end of the road, feeling like my kids are fine and they're good and happy. I feel like it was not at all harmful. But I absolutely want to acknowledge that going through the process, I did have those doubts. So I think it's normal to have those doubts, and you don't know the answer to those things until you know it's done and your kids grow up. So I can address my kid's perspective and I think you know rhey didn't really say when they were young, you know, why weren't you here, why weren't you there? And I can say that I did make a very concerted effort not to miss important things. So I never would miss a school play or anything like that, I would, you know, make sure that I was there. I'd switch around clinic, so I'd you know, change, call shift. I do what I needed to be not make sure that I didn't miss anything, so I don't think from their perspectives we were missing from important things, and again, remember, both of us were there. So when it came to, you know, who can go to a trip, either one of us would go there, so it wasn't always me right. So there was also, you know, my husband was able to go on things too, so I don't think they felt like we were not able to do things.

Sharon Domb: Now, as adults, they absolutely have been able to vocalize that they thought it was a very positive, role model, and they love the fact that, you know I was a doctor and able to work, and that was, that's a source of pride to them. But now. They didn't say that at the time, but now they're able to say that. So again you don't know these things. And I think when you're raising kids, you do your best, and I think it's probably the you know the job that most of us take the most seriously. And I certainly did, and that was, you know, can be such an important role for me to be a parent. And I would say arguably, more important than my professional role and something that I wanted to get right. And I think that's something that most parents share. Right? That's something you want to get right more than anything else, right? Because the downsides for not getting it right are substantial. Again. But you don't know it, as you're going through it right? So I can look back on it now. And my kids are both, you know, good people, you know, settled in careers and happy, and I have, you know I can look back with a very, you know, confident and satisfied retroactive perspective. But I didn't have it at the time.

Radha Sharma: A lot of the people that we've spoken to have very young children, and it's interesting when I ask them about the challenges that they face, and it's always this guilt of am I a good doctor, am I a good mom? And that constant back and forth. 

Sharon Domb: And again, I think, you know, and that gets back to how you balance those things. And I think that's where it gets back to sort of what is important to you, and I think this was something I sort of, you know, I said to you that you know my raising my kids was something that was really, probably my biggest priority, and that's something that let me guide decisions as I went through things right. So I made decisions that I was going to do things from a work perspective that A) I enjoyed, and B) allowed me the flexibility to do things and to be able to do things with my family. So I did not take on some career opportunities that might have been better for my career, but would have, you know, negatively impacted my ability to do things at home. So I always had that lens on things and made decisions about, because I knew that my core, I would be unhappy if I ended up doing something that was gonna be, you know, the right thing for my CV. But the wrong thing for my family. Right? So I let that guide me. So again, not everybody has the same priorities with those things, and I really encourage people to sort of sit down and say to themselves, What is my priority? If your priority is to, you know, advance your career at all costs, then do that, but understand that it will potentially have some negative impacts on your parenting or your home life. I think we delude ourselves as women to think that we can be a hundred percent at work and a hundred percent at home. You can't. So something needs to give. So you just have to decide what's important to you and let that be your guide.

Radha Sharma: What has been the best part about being a parent to your daughters? I know there's probably a million things you can think of. But if you could think about the first things that come to your mind, what would they be?

Sharon Domb: I would say now, I would say to you the best part of parenting is that I've got an amazing relationship with both of my daughters, and that is something that you don't know what's going to happen as you go through it. But I think that’s a test to the ability to build that relationship with my girls over time. I mean, I've got one that lives in New York, and you know one's away at school. And we talk every day, if not multiple times a day. 

Radha Sharma: That’s amazing. 

Sharon Domb: And you know the fact that I've got that relationship is the most valuable thing to me.

Radha Sharma: That's so beautiful to hear that you have that relationship with your daughters as they are now adults, I wonder, during their teenage years, was it the same? Has your relationship with them got better as time has gone on?

Sharon Domb: So we've been very fortunate that we've had a good relationship with the girls throughout. I would say both of them had a bit of a, you know, challenging year at the age 12/13, and then things got better after that. Our oldest was diagnosed with ADHD when she was in grade 7, so we had a little bit of a challenging year with her then. But, you know, got back on track. So no, really, no issues since then. And again, you don’t how much of that is, you know a result of luck parenting, you know, good peer group, there's so many factors that can contribute when you have kids that end up on a good path as opposed to a negative path. So I can't say that, that's all you know attributed to parenting. I think there are multiple factors that contribute.

But no, we did not have terrible teenagers with them, luckily. 

Radha Sharma: Always curious to hear everyone's perspectives on that.

Radha Sharma: Sharon, if you had a magic wand and could go back and change anything about your journey thus far, whether that be with family planning, your career, really anything, would you go back and use that magic wand? If so, why? If not, why?

Sharon Domb: You know what I can honestly say to you that I feel like I was given the magic wand upfront like, I don't think I would change anything. I think I was able to do things in my career that enabled me to be happy and satisfied in my career, while also feeling like I was doing a really good job as a parent. So if I could have executed that magic wand up front, I think I would have created the same thing. But I can't say that I think it all happened because of chance and luck and good support network. Not because I waved the magic wand. And you know I want exactly this. It just kind of happened. And again, I think the guiding thing really was for me to make decisions based on what the things were that were going to make me happy, which was driven by what my priorities were. So I really do encourage people to do that. It's hard in medicine, because there's so much pressure to you know, we're all competitive by nature, and we all want to sort of, you know rise up that challenging path, and whatever the next thing is and it's hard to sort of get off that treadmill and not continue to do that when we have our entire lives for most of us being on that sort of competitive path and trying to, you know, reach the quote unquote pinnacle. But I mean there's no end to what that is gonna be. You just need to figure out where you can, you know, find that balance that's gonna work for you. And you know and do things for the reasons that are right, right? Do things because it's important to you, not because it's going to pad your CV. And I probably should not be saying this on a U of T podcast but I will tell you that, so, for example, so I went up to from lecturer to assistant professor fairly early on. And then it took me 17 years until I actually did the paperwork to go to Associate Professor.

Sharon Domb: Okay? Because it's a big job. It's, you know, a lot of work. And it wasn't something I wanted to entertain when my kids were young, and I was not one of those ones who was prepared to use my vacation time to sit and put my associate paperwork, professor paper work together. And it wasn't enough of a driver for me, right? So I waited till my kids were older, and you know I was able to do it and not have to sacrifice anything at home, and so some people might have turned around, said, 17 years to move from assistance to associate, professor, like that's ridiculous. But at the end of the day again, it was something that was driven by what my priorities were at the time, and honestly, I don't think it made a hoot of a difference. And I have no intention to put the paperwork through to go to full professor. And like, I said, I'm sorry if I offend somebody on this podcast by saying that. But at the end of the day, not going to change anything for my career. It's not going to change anything for what I'm looking for with respect to my career. And just because it's the next step, doesn't mean you have to do it. There's always gonna be the next thing you could go for, right? 

Radha Sharma: Definitely. 

Sharon Domb: And if every time you think about those things you asked yourselves, does this fit into what my overall plans are and what's gonna make me happy? Let that guide your decisions.

Radha Sharma: I love this concept of guidance by priorities, because a lot of the times, I think, especially maybe U of T has a different culture compared to other medical schools and other residency programs. But there always seems to be this emphasis on over achieving and doing the next thing. But  it really does come down to what your own priorities are, and what you see yourself as a physician, or if you want to be an investigator or professor one day, like what that looks like in tandem with your life? Not necessarily, you know, at the expense of other priorities. But it's so hard to conceptually think about that when we're so caught up in the next milestone and the next milestone. 

Sharon Domb: You have to let your priorities guide those decisions, and in order to do so, you have to actually figure out what your priorities are, because at the end, when we look at this concept of physician wellness, well, what makes up physician wellness? There's so many factors. But for people who want to and have a family, it's the ability to be able to balance those things. So if you're doing the next thing, and I grew up in that U of T mentality, I get it, and I'm still in it. So I understand it. But I'm saying to you if at the end of the day you're going down that road and taking on that next thing is going to adversely affect your home life and your ability to do things, you're not going to be happy.

Radha Sharma: So true. 

Sharon Domb: So you've got to figure out what's going to make you happy and bring you satisfaction to be able to guide those decisions and don't just do it because it's the next thing to do.

Radha Sharma: I know you've been sharing a lot of wisdom to our listeners. Is there any other advice that you want to impart on perhaps a medical student, a resident, maybe a physician very early on in their career that they would find useful?

Sharon Domb: I think again, you know, my biggest thing would be to let your principles guide you but, and you know medicine nowadays gets crazy right? There are people that request meetings at 7 o'clock in the morning, and meetings at 6 o'clock at night. And when I came back from my first mat leave, I decided I was not doing any before work meetings and not after work meetings. and you know, for better or for worse. This whole ability to have Zoom has helped us get flexibility because you can work at home, but it's also harmed us, because it means there's really no way to say no to things, and you are available and more accessible and whatnot. But you need to put some parameters down again, based on using, you know, your own priorities as guiding principles with respect to how you make your decisions. I mean, if you say it's not important, then it's not important. But if it's important to you, then you need to put those boundaries up. And you know what? I make a very concerted effort not to email people on the weekends. Even if I choose to work on the weekends, I put those emails in my draft and I send them on Monday morning, because I don't want somebody to be the recipient of my email on the weekend and feel like they need to answer it. I like to hope that other people do the same. But that's not always the case. So I could tell you, I get emails on the weekends. Yeah, and it annoys me. But really don't be afraid to say no, and put your boundaries down. And if you don't want to meet at 7 o'clock in the morning, because that's gonna cause problems and you're gonna miss seeing your kids and whatnot. Then you say, I'm not available for 7 o'clock in the morning meetings. And that's okay. And don't worry that, you know, somebody is going to think less of you. I remember coming back from my first mat leave thinking, Oh, my God! If I say no, people are going to think that I'm you know, not a team player that I'm you know, not gonna be able to balance things. And I just said, you know what screw it. I thought I have to do this for myself and for my own family, and if it results in some negative consequences, I'm going to have to deal with that, and that's where that whole balance of being able to say, you know what, I have to get off this treadmill and not keep going and going, where is the balance for me, is important, right? So just to be able to find what that balance is, and it's not the same for every person which is, you know, why, I say, sit down. And really look at what it is for you.

Radha Sharma: A lot of soul searching and self reflection is necessary.

Sharon Domb: Yes, but it's also at a time when it's sometimes challenging to conceptualize how you want to be a parent when you might be 5 or 10 years away from being a parent. And you're making decisions without having that perspective. But, you know, reflect back on what was important to you in your own childhood and philosophically, you know what are the important things to you? Are you okay with somebody else feeding your kid dinner, you know 3 nights a week or 5 nights a week. Are you okay with not having a family dinner hour most nights of the week? Or is that something that's important to you? You know those are the sort of things, I'm saying, you can think about now. But you know some people don't right. If you grew up in a family where you always had dinner together as a family that's probably something that's gonna be important to you, but you may not even think about the fact that, you know, if you're in a more demanding medical field, it might be hard for you to get out the door and be home for dinner hour. But if it's going to bother you when you're a parent to the point that you're going to be resentful then, no matter how prestigious your career is, if you're going to resent it, it becomes a problem.

Radha Sharma: Thank you so much, Dr. Domb, for sharing those pieces of advice with us today. Our last question for you is in the name of the podcast, are you thriving or surviving?

Sharon Domb: So I would say, for the most part, I am thriving. I will tell you again, sort of, I was lucky with this. I mean there is certainly a level of, you know, burn out, overwhelm, etc., with all the messages and things that we're dealing with. But I'm now dealing with it at a time when my kids are grown. And I went through the pandemic at a time when my kids were independent. So, you know, I think it would have been a lot harder if I was going through the challenges professionally, that I've dealt with over the last 5 years, as many of us have dealt with over the last 5 years, and was trying to balance that with young kids. So I certainly feel for people that are, you know, navigating that because I think it would be much harder. And you know my husband and I certainly said to each other as the pandemic unfolded. How would we have ever managed this if we were trying to deal with homeschooling with a kid in grade one and grade 4, whatever it would be a nightmare. So again, that sort of worked out for me in terms of timing. But you know it is absolutely challenging. And I can certainly understand why parents of younger kids are really struggling right now.

Radha Sharma: Thank you so much. It's good to hear that you're in the thriving phase and we know, we acknowledge the fact that not everyone might be at this point in time ad It's all always a balance between the 2, regardless of how happy or thriving you may be.

Radha Sharma: This actually concludes episode 16. We want to give you another thank you for being on the podcast today. It was just so nice chatting with you and getting to hear about your journey and how you've done it all. You can find our guest contact information in the notes from today's show. This is Dr. Sharon Domb and Radha, signing off.

Sharon Domb: Thank you.