We sat down with Talat Ahmed, M.D., DCH, FAAP, neonatologist and medical director at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston. Dr. Ahmed grew up in India and worked all over the world—from Dubai to Ireland to Canada—before settling in Texas. She’s been in practice for 30 years now, 12 of which have been with Mednax. Dr. Ahmed is passionate about quality improvement, which she was introduced to during her fellowship and while working in Canada. She feels very fortunate to work at Woman’s, where she has the opportunity to improve the way care is delivered to patients.
Watch the video for the full interview or check out the highlights below!
What do you think it means to be a woman in health care today?The women I have met or look up to in neonatology or in general, they are really very well rounded. We have a really good grasp of multitasking and our focus is not just on A to B—we just look at the whole global picture, and we can do that because we run homes. So, we know how it works—there is finances, there’s interpersonal relationships, there is how you raise your kids and how you balance your relationship with your husband or your parents. And that’s what we bring to medicine—we do global care.
What are the positives for women?We can make the best out of the worst situation. We are good listeners, and we can take lots of challenges, and even though we may not look as physically apt as a man, we are very resilient. We can work long hours. We can make it work. We can have an attitude towards work and life in general that is more wholesome than compartmentalized. And we can solve issues in a better way without having egos, I think—I haven’t found many women having egos. We can work together well and make the best out of the worst situation.
What advice do you have for women?Looking back, I am very amazed by the newer generation who is coming to medicine. I have two daughters, so I know how they look towards life. Just to find a good balance of work and life, your family and yourself; to give importance to each part of us because some of us from the old generation were very focused on career and just providing and pleasing, and kind of lost looking at ourself. It was not much later that I realized but my two girls have taught me from the very beginning to have the balance. It’s important to have a life for yourself and take care of yourself as well. Do the best that you can, but don’t take yourself out of that equation.
How can women physicians best support fellow women physicians?
By collaboration, listening, talking to each other and learning from each other’s experiences. I always feel the ones who are advanced or in a position should cut slack for them. In each period of your life, you have different needs, and you need to be supported at that period of life. So, the younger ones, we should mentor them, listen to them and adapt to their needs. Every 10 years, things change—like COVID has taught us so much now. So, we should learn, and then we should empower them and make them come to the forefront. Because looking back when I was growing up and when I was a young physician, I was not ever expecting that I would get any position; I was just thinking that I should do a good job and just please my consultants and that was it. But I think the younger ones should be in a position where they can lead from the very beginning, and they should be mentored. And they’re really good ones—we have in our group outstanding young women physicians.
Interested in joining our team of talented neonatologists?