The Free Agent

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A few days ago I woke up to a plethora of emails from my Linkedin page of friends/colleagues congratulating me on my anniversary. For those who don't use Linkedin when you add your job titles to your page you have to include your start date, thus on an annual basis its not out of the ordinary to suddenly receive these email notifications. What's funny is that unless you log on to your account you probably don't have a clue on which job anniversary they are congratulating for.  So after I finally remember my password I look to see that it's my two year anniversary here at Bethesda Hospital. Its significant in so many ways being that this was my first job out of residency  and all that it meant but the best surprise was that it meant that "officially" I was a free agent. I signed a two year contract out of residency & technically speaking my obligations had been completed. As I type this the hospital is in the process of working on a new contract  [They have recently merged with Baptist Health thus the delay] but I can honestly say that I am feeling pretty damn good sitting on this side of the negotiating table two years later.

One of the scariest things coming out of residency was making sure that the first  "big money" contract I signed wasn't something that would be harmful to my professional career. I read about all of the pitfalls & legal turmoil of graduating residents who didn't properly prepare themselves from the business side of things & they greatly paid for it. Coming out of residency you don't have as much leverage in the negotiating process but fast forward a couple of amazing years where you are meeting all of those preset goals they had for you & I am sitting awfully pretty.

Recently I was listened to an amazing podcast  from "Docs Outside the Box" featuring Dr. Draion Burch who talked about taking control of your brand, & maximizing your presence as a physician & I am just ecstatic about the next chapter in my life. But first things first I have to get this contract out the way.


Autism Awareness Series

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Good Morning, over the next few weeks I will be having a guest blogger who so happens to be my lovely wife educate us on the discussion of Autism & just how much it has affected us on a personal level. Please feel free to post any questions in the comments or email her directly if you have any questions.

Autism Awareness by Maria Davis-Pierre, LMHC

April is Autism Awareness Month. This month means a lot to our family because our daughter was diagnosed 2 years ago. So for the month of April I will be sharing a little of our autism story every week.

Autism Spectrum Disorder consists of these major signs/symptoms:
·      Delayed or no speech
·      Repetitive or unusual behaviors
·      Lack of social skills
·      Trouble controlling emotions
·      Sensory sensitivity

Our daughter began babbling and saying dada at your typical age of 6 months and at 7 months she was saying mama, but as time passed it was like she had forgotten how to say either of those words. I would try to get her to repeat them after I would say it but it was like she just couldn’t. As time progressed she was babbling very little and had very few words she was actually saying. It was because of these concerns that I took her in to be tested.

After the test I was told our child had scored below average on most categories and that there was a concern she was on the autism spectrum. I can say that this wasn’t a complete shock to me as a therapist however it was a blow all the same. After leaving the facility I began to try and make sense of this information, asking myself did I do something wrong during pregnancy?, did I do too much of or not enough of something? All were valid thoughts but really had nothing to do with why a child is diagnosed with Autism. I thought back to what I had envisioned for our daughter and wondering if those dreams could still be a reality. Thinking about how I wanted to play certain games with my child, or dress up and have tea parties, or watch Disney movies all of which she had no interest in. In expressing my feelings to my husband he reassured me that I was going to have to change my thought process and meet my child where she was, and that I was going to have to stop comparing her to kids that are not on the spectrum as it wasn’t good for her or me. And (as difficult as it is for me to say this) he was right. I started having more realistic goals for where she was at currently and started getting her in the necessary therapy. 

When she turned 3 she was able to enter Pre-K. We were able to get her in our top school of choice and in August of this past year she started the Palm Beach School for Autism. The child that started school in August is completely different from the child that is about to end this school year. She has made so much progress from now being able to communicate her needs to us, to playing and interacting with other kids and her younger siblings. She is constantly meeting goals we set for her so we are constantly adding new ones. The crazy thing is that she has taught us more that we have taught her. She has taught us to think differently, to not believe that we have certain expectations to live up too, and to slow down and cherish these moments. I saw a shirt the other day with something to the effect of “Autism is a journey I never planned for but I sure do love my tour guide”. And I think that sums up where we are right now enjoying the journey with our child and seeing it through her lens.

Maria Davis-Pierre LMHC
  Day By Day Therapy


Guest Speaking Recap - Lunch & Learn

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Had another amazing weekend highlighted by an event that I had personally been looking forward to for a few months. As you may or may not know I am a proud member of the Urban League of Broward County Young Professionals Network, a non profit organization of like minded professionals in south florida who have their hands in everything from community service, financial literacy & political action. This past weekend we hosted a "Lunch & Learn: Your Health Is Your Wealth" event at Nova Southeastern  University where I had the privilege of sitting on an amazing panel to discuss issues within the African American Community. Our host/moderator Kayla Comrie, who also serves as the chair for the Social & Cultural committee was the brain child for the whole event & I couldn't have been more happier to be apart of it. I definitely look forward to continuing this event for years to come.

Our guest panelist included (from left to right) : 

*SN How lucky am I to be around that many beautiful professional women?*


Guest Speaking Recap - Sterling Village

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I again had the wonderful opportunity to speak to the residents at Sterling Village of Boynton Beach last night. Last year I lectured on the topic "The Doctor & Patient Relationship", this year I decided to talk about a topic near & dear to me which was Hypertension. After losing my father to complications from long standing hypertension its a disease that I'm very aggressive with in trying to obtain control for my patients. As an Internist, chronic disease management is almost second nature so I pride myself in being to start giving these talks in the local community. The residents at Sterling Village were wonderful and they always make it easy for me as a still novice guest lecturer. I look forward to speaking with them for years to come.


Guest Speaking Recap

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I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with the organization Pathways to Prosperity of Boynton Beach yesterday about hypertension. It's a great nonprofit organization out of Boynton Beach which focuses on community empowerment for adults & children in the Haitian community.  Due to some communication issues[on our end] I wasn't able to prepare a proper  presentation but I do have plans to return to give them a proper education on just what is hypertension in the community.

Please feel free to check them out they are always looking for more education/financial support for the Haitian community.

Facebook Page 
Official Website