We sat down with Evelyn Rider, M.D., FAAP, neonatologist at Pediatrix affiliate Alaska Neonatology Associates and The Children's Hospital at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Rider’s career has spanned both academic and private practice. She joined Alaska Neonatology Associates in 2006 and currently leads the group as Practice Medical Director.
Watch the video for the full interview or check out the highlights below!
What are some of the challenges of being a woman in medicine?
I think maintaining the balance in our personal life and in our careers. Having chosen medicine, I think people go into medicine because they really are nurturing, caring people and balancing that tendency to nurture and care for others with the need to be able to care for yourself is important, and that’s a very big challenge. There’s always going to be work that gets left undone no matter how hard we work, and that was one of the things that I learned very early on as a neonatology fellow. One of my friends actually said, “You know, you have to be able to leave it; it will still be there.” As fellows in a very busy research lab, there was always something else we could do, and that was one of the most important lessons I learned early on.
What are some of the positives of being a woman in healthcare?
I think we bring to healthcare our empathy, our ability to juggle multiple things, our ability to care as individuals and our nurturing personalities. Women in general are very nurturing, and I think we bring that to the bedside, we bring that to our colleagues and we bring that to all the families we touch. I think that’s one of the things we solidly bring as a gender into the field. I also think that as women, we are often underestimated in what we are capable of doing, and I always state that as an advantage rather than a disadvantage. I think it works very much in our favor if people think we can’t do as much, and we show them—wow—how much we can do and accomplish. And that’s a strength, not a weakness.
How can women physicians best support fellow women physicians?
I’d say paying it forward, remembering the kindness and the things that people did for you along the way to make sure that you are successful. I was very fortunate all along the way from medical school all the way to my current position, where I was given opportunities—amazing opportunities—to do well, to perform. I was never questioned as to my ability to care for patients; I was always encouraged. And as a parent, I had senior partners who really cared for me and my family and saw the value in my being able to be present as a parent for my children and as a spouse. I would say that is probably the most important gift we give to other young people in our practices, and I’d like to encourage everyone to remember paying forward those things that people gave you to be successful.
I would say medicine is an amazing career, and I like to remind people that it’s a gift and a privilege to do what we are doing. I can’t think of any other field or any other job where we enjoy what we do every day—I get to make a difference in lives every single day. And in neonatology, I can’t think of another field where truly everything that we do makes a difference, whether the outcome is the death of a baby or a former 24-weeker leaving your unit intact or with some challenges. What you do in that process for that family, for that baby, will make a difference in their future.
Interested in joining our team of neonatologists? Explore our career opportunities.