How do you balance family and being a busy spine surgeon?
The key is keeping your priorities straight. The second most important factor is having an understanding spouse. LeAnn knows how hard I work to deliver my best, whether it’s work or family time. When I’m in surgery, there’s nothing more important than that patient, at that time. Because of that, I’m constantly late: late getting home, late for dinner, and yes, usually even late for my own birthday celebrations. I can’t rush through surgery. My patients rely on me to do what I would for my family or myself when they trust me with their care. It’s a responsibility I take seriously and deliver on, every time. However, it only works because I have a wife who understands that and makes sure my kids know how important what I’m doing is. They also know I spend every available minute with them when I’m not working- no guy’s nights out, no poker night, no guys trips. Outside of work, it’s 100% family. My focus starts with God and that trickles down to every aspect of my life, allowing me to understand my role and to balance my time wisely. My priorities are clear.
There is very little at work that is ‘that important’ that I can’t also make time for my family. My wife and I do take turns and I do miss some things, but I also make a lot more [of them] than I used to. Having a child who is just about to graduate from high school helps to put a lot in perspective — I spent time at her graduation thinking about how fast it all went and all the long hours in surgery that prevented me from ‘being there.’ But I always knew their needs were more than being met with my wife being home because she is the most amazing mother. But there were times earlier in my career when I did not feel I was home enough for my own needs and I am currently making adjustments to correct that. ~Dr Cyr