We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Mohammed and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work life balance is essential for any occupation but speaking directly from a physician’s perspective it can be extremely difficult to put away the computer after a long work day. There is always something to work on, especially with having a large patient panel and many responsibilities as a leader of a clinic. However, I had to make a pact with myself to ensure balance and protect the amount of time I spend with my family and doing things I enjoy outside of medicine. I remember hearing a former colleague tell me that “you can perfect being available but it will come at a cost.” There are so many duties that we have as physicians that many don’t understand or couldn’t imagine. The administrative tasks are a large portion of the daily work flow of a physician- between charting, teaching, meetings, community outreach, following up with patients regarding test results and ensuring quality as well as evidence based medicine is implemented every step of the way. It can be exhausting at times but of course incredibly rewarding. I believe very strongly that having an outlet is important in doing my job effectively and with the same amount of energy every week. Specific outlets that have helped me maintain a balance include: writing for blogs, exercising, starting a podcast with a close friend from residency, being an active member of my church community, traveling, mentoring students and volunteering.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe with my experience in organization, ability to relate to individuals of many different cultural, ethnic, economic as well as faith backgrounds, allows me to be comfortable in any setting in order to build diverse coalitions. Being nominated as a Woman in White Coat Hero for 2020 was a huge honor. As a black female physician of color, there are many obstacles I have faced and will continue to face throughout my journey in medicine. Medicine has allowed me to fulfill my vocation to serve the needs of not only my own local community but also serve as a platform to initiate change in the lives of others globally. I am empowered daily by patients and other medical providers, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and social workers, who all assist in the ability to collaborate with patients regarding their medical care.
My medical school training was not traditional. I lived on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean for 16 months. Most only know of this island simply from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, however it is much more than the setting of a popular movie, for it was there that I knew it was my destiny to be in medicine. Yes, I bought kilowatts of electricity daily from the local grocery store, carried buckets of water from the main campus when my water was mostly brown in color or I didn’t have any at all, and numerous roosters served as my alarm clock daily which inevitably helped ensure I wasn’t late to class but I wouldn’t change my time there for anything. The experience was challenging and although at times I feared being unable to succeed in obtaining residency due to the hierarchy of medical education in the U.S., I continued to look ahead and strive towards my goals despite circumstance and preconceived notions about an atypical path in medicine. I am thankful I didn’t fall victim to these thoughts because it allowed me to be where I am today.
I have always had an interest in medicine since I was 9 years old. My female Pediatrician was a role-model for me growing up and it seemed almost instinctual to pursue medicine. Realizing that millions across the world were unable to maintain their health due to poverty, environmental conditions, and lack of public assistance inspired me to look further into Family Medicine as my ultimate career choice. I was able to gain insight into how I viewed the world and my own community by having experiences that shaped not only my personal life but to become globally conscious and a culturally competent physician that allowed for me to build strong/diverse coalitions throughout my community and beyond.
I was named the TAFP (Texas Academy of Family Physicians) Humanitarian Physician of the Year for 2020 and 2020 Texas Children in Nature Summit Champion Award recipient for my work with Walk with a Doc in 2020. I have a strong passion for community, international medicine/public health and HIV/AIDS advocacy with a diploma in International Medicine and Public Health. I also serve on the Young Professionals Advisory Council for the HIV/AIDS Resource Center Dallas.
I’ve just started a new mentorship initiative, called Empowering Female Minority Physicians. EFMPhysicians was created to help other young students on their journey towards successful careers in medicine. I want to be able to help guide other young women of color to succeed. What better way to empower other women than to support one another.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Dallas is such a versatile city and there is always something fun to do. From going to the Meyerson Symphony, yoga at Klyde Warren Park, checking out the latest blooms at the Dallas Arboretum or grabbing a bite to eat at Americano in The Adolphus hotel and having a great cappuccino at Otto’s Coffee & Fine Foods.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To my husband who is always supportive of my endeavors and a constant source of encouragement. My amazing parents & grandmother for setting the foundation to allow me to pursue my dreams and always believing in me.