Family Physician & Understory Co-Founder | #boymom
From my time in medical school to my seven years in the emergency department, while I've always absolutely loved this line of work, I've also found myself struggling with the level of self-sacrifice it requires. As someone who is deeply creative at heart (fiction writing is my passion!), there are certain things I need to nurture my creative zeal: rest, sleep and the time and space to create. As I gave more to my career and less to those basic needs, I was under the impression that how I interfaced with medicine was completely out of my control (even though—spoiler alert!—it wasn’t). I knew it was time to reorganize my life and find myself again—and it was this knowing that ultimately led Meg and I to create Understory.
Today, I work as an assistant professor at University of Toronto and run an HIV primary care practice at St. Michael’s Hospital—but most of my fuel comes from two roles that provide me extra fuel for my other passion: my volunteer role as Understory’s co-founder. I love working with our faculty to distill their knowledge into bite-sized, highly concentrated wisdom women doctors can easily metabolize.
When I’m not brainstorming ways to make our content revelatory—I’m likely hiding away in my writing cabin, on one of my three daily phone conversations with Meg or doing a peloton run (current favourite: Matt Wilpers).
Emergency Physician & Understory Co-Founder | #girlmom
While I feel an enormous privilege and responsibility as an emergency room physician, I’ve always been deeply intent on finding my soul-work outside of the ER (which isn’t exactly a line of questioning medicine encourages, if you know what I mean). About six months into the pandemic, Kelly and I were just so saddened by the distress and physician burnout we were seeing in both ourselves and countless other women doctors , and we knew it was time to do something.
As someone who has always had an innate knack for community building, I wanted to create a safe space where women physicians could lay down their armour and learn to give back to themselves despite a society and system that have trained us to do anything but. This safe space became Understory—and I absolutely love that I am just as much a learner as anyone else here, seeking lasting wellness and self-discovery.
When I’m not jamming with Kelly about what courses should come next or sourcing sustainable, local goodies for our care packages—you’ll find me hanging at the park with my three girls, completely unplugged on an annual canoe trip or making syrup in my backyard (recent record: 60 litres of syrup in Spring of 2022).
What in the world does “Understory” mean?
to help women doctors better listen to, care for and remember themselves.
Whether it’s setting boundaries, having tough conversations or making much-needed changes, this community exists to help you tune into what it is you need. Here, we believe you have the innate power and wisdom to create what you want. You need an inclusive, supportive place that encourages you to tap into it. Luckily, you’ve just found just the place (and we’re so glad you did).