Stilletos, Spit Up, and Success: Mothers in Leadership in the PT Profession

Posted By: Carrie Pagliano Member Spotlight,

By Carrie Pagliano, PT, DPT, OCS, WCS

Ever feel like you had to choose between your career and your kids? Not sure you’re ready to handle both? Worried you’ll have to put your physical therapy career on hold in order to spend more time with your family? Ever secretly question hiring a mom with a new family?

We know you’re nodding. Even the research has identified challenges to females in the medical profession trying to balance family and career advancement. So where are some resources for support?

Join members of the #mamacapemafia as we open the APTA Combined Sections Meeting in San Antonio Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, at 8 a.m. Our session, “Stilettos, Spit-Up and Success: Mothers in Leadership in the PT Profession,” will help you navigate the uneven balance beam of career and family, whether you’re currently “in the hurt locker” or debating dipping a toe in the waters of parenting.

Let us show you why new moms are rock-star members of corporate teams, bringing efficiency, passion, and exceptional communication skills to the table. We will share experiences and strategies for how to survive and even thrive as a parent of small children and leader in our profession.

The session features an all-star group of mama PTs with more than 100 years of combined experience in building fulfilling PT careers and strong families. From the West Coast, SoWH member Karen Brandon, PT, DSC, WCS, BCIA-PMDB, talks raising two kids; managing a large, hospital-based women’s health practice and juggling her popular speaking engagements. Jenni Gabelsberg, PT, DPT, MSc, MTC, WCS, BCB-PMD, tells her tale of starting a rapid-growth private practice, parenting three kids, and teaching for a national PT education company.

Representing the East Coast, Secili DeStefano, PT, DPT, OCS, shares her journey as a leading APTA national volunteer, adjunct faculty, private-practice practitioner, and chauffeur extraordinaire to two active youngsters.

I will round out this interactive discussion by highlighting how, as vice president of SOWH, I’ve found opportunities to meet my professional goals via volunteering, teaching residency education, and serving a hospital-based clinical practice—all while responding to the determined demands of a preschooler and kindergartener.

You can do this—and if you already are, we invite you to share your own insights during this interactive session! Among the questions we’ll address are the benefits of employing mothers, pursuing career options in academia, working in private/hospital-based practice, and leveraging opportunities in continuing education instruction.

We’ll also talk about unique ways to find your tribe and avoid burnout while meeting your professional and personal goals. We hope you’ll join us in this exchange of ideas share some thoughts with your colleagues of #mamacapemafia!

Author: SOWH Vice President Carrie Pagliano is a co-instructor for women’s health-focused Real Time Ultrasound education, teaching assistant for pelvic floor education, and clinical instructor for student education. A frequent lecturer at national events, Dr. Pagliano serves as a committee member with The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education and as an adjunct professor at Marymount University. She also chairs the SOWH Name Change Task Force.