Fashionable Biotech Exec, MD
Biotech Exec – kicking cancers a$$ with my husband at the family biotech biz; a fashionista, patient, MD (former neurosurg), and blogger www.fashionsurgeon.com
So I tried this blog thing before, and I failed miserably, why? – Maladaptive Perfectionism. A trait that so many in the medical field suffer from, and yet cannot recognize until they step away from the other universe known as the hospital. In my last blog I wanted every word to be perfect, every picture done by a professional. Well, you can imagine how many posts I was able to produce and maintain a fulltime job (I think 4). So this time I am taking a different approach. Here are the rules to my blog:
- I have a potty mouth (blame my mother)
- On Mondays I will discuss my exciting career in biotech or fashion pending my mood.
- On Wednesdays I will discuss Autoimmune Disease Awareness as that is why I am often a patient.
- On Saturdays I will discuss fashion. And if I have any more time to post it will most likely be about clothes, shoes and more shoes.
- If I miss a post, fucking sue me and refer to rule number 3.
Now a little bit about me. I grew up in St. Louis, MO the fashion capital of the world (NOT!). But I did grow up with 2 bossy Italian women (my Maw Maw and Mom) who taught me to suck in my gut at the age of 5, wear what flattered me and by god if I did not look impeccable in my school pictures.
My head was always in a book from a very young age. But I was an anomaly – “Chemistry Barbie,” one professor called me in college (sexist bastard). But it was October, and I thought good idea, and I was Chemistry Barbie to the Beta’s Halloween Party. When I graduated first in my medical school class and went on to Neurosurgery Residency at the Cleveland Clinic, families encountered so many doctors, but all they had to do is ask the nurses for “that doctor with the pink lipstick,” and they knew who to page. What did Charles Dickens say, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” That pretty much sums up Neurosurgery Residency. I dream about drilling burrholes, or the elegance of a retrosigmoid approach – staring down the brainstem and almost all of the cranial nerves, but the dream stops the day I passed out in the OR. The dream ends that day when they told me I had pericarditis, 3 pacemakers later that dream ends.
So I pouted around for a year depressed, had a quarter life crisis (aka made up for all the partying I didn’t do in medical school), thought about going into other less “stressful and demanding medical careers,” but how could I go from having someone’s whole being, their consciousness in my hands to diagnosing the common cold? I just couldn’t. 2 jobs later, one big move to California, and one whirlwind romance and marriage I ended up in a pretty amazing spot. I am the Vice President of Clinical Development for a Biotech Startup in San Francisco with an amazing multi-indication drug for cancer including Glioblastoma (the most malignant brain cancer), ovarian cancer, breast cancer and more. This drug even shows amazing promise for Ebola. Finally I am helping people again – the doctor in me is satisfied. But no, life is not that easy – Dec 30, 2013 I broke out in a horrible rash which eventually covered my arms mucous membranes and chest (again refer to blog rule #3 autoimmune disease awareness). I spent 34 days hospitalized and went back repeatedly that year for infections related to being on immunosuppressive therapy. I nearly died once of sepsis.
So why am I bothering to write a blog, seems like I have enough on my plate – a hectic career, a chronic illness, a husband I love and want to spend time with…Just a few reasons:
- Chronic Illnesses = Insomnia; it gives my overactive brain something to do at 2am
- Autoimmune (AI) disease is often referred to as the “invisible illness.” Other than when someone who suffers from AI disease is having a flair they can look pretty much normal, but the fatigue, the pain, its there…..and so Wednesday is for the 50 million of us.
- Fashion and Medicine compete for my first loves. A good pair of louboutins, the perfect fit of an Elie Saab dress, the way 4 inch heels give me the confidence to walk right into that board room…..almost as beautiful as clipping an MCA aneurysm.
So I hope you will follow along with me as I go through this amazing journey, a young biotech executive, fighting a horrible illness and wearing her Louboutins to Venture Capital meetings and meetings with the Government’s Biodefense and Counterterrorism Departments. It’s going to be one hell of a journey, and I intend to do it in style. (P.S. for more pics and to see how much I ❤ shoes follow me on instagram @fashionsurgeon, I post daily).