A Day in Her Life: Muslim Mom Physician
Posted on January 26 2019
Meet Dr. Reema Jawairia! She's a double board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology from New York, a Muslim wife to a Hospitalist and a mother of two young boys. Dr. Jawairia won the heart of many of our fans when she was first featured on Covered Bliss's Instagram Takeover Tuesday. Here she expands on her typical workday and how she finds balance in her daily life.
5:45 a.m. wake up and pray. I like to start out my day by thanking God for His blessings.
6:00 a.m. 10 minute jog around the neighborhood. As I counsel my patients on dietary and lifestyle modification, I also make sure that I implement it on myself as well.
6:15-7:10 a.m. Make breakfast and eat with my toddler and the baby.
7:15-8:00 a.m. Get myself ready as well as my preschooler and drop him off to school.
During an office day (2-3 days a week):
8:30-11:45 a.m. See office consults and follow-ups.
12:00-12:45 p.m. Eat lunch and run to the hospital to see few consults or do in-patient procedures
1:00-4:00 p.m. Afternoon office consults and follow-ups
4:00-5:00 p.m. Complete my charts, check up on pending labs, imaging, and pathology reports
During a procedure day (1-2 days a week):
7:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. EGDs and colonoscopies with biopsies or dilation or polypectomies
Some days in the afternoon, I may have office hours and/or in-patient consults at the hospital.
I also take call 1-2 times a week for 24 hrs along with my regular schedule and once a month weekend call that starts 7am on Friday to 7am Monday.
5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. I prepare dinner, sit down together as a family to eat dinner, play with kids for an hour before their bedtime, get them ready for bed, pray and spend some time with hubby before going to bed.
Physician by day, Stunner by night. Dr. Jawairia shines in our Elhan Kaftan for her special event.
What are some key aspects during your typical day?
Since I counsel my patients on a healthy lifestyle, I like to implement it in my own daily routine by starting my day with a nice jog in the morning. Then, I get my preschooler ready and make breakfast. If I'm at the surgery center, my day depends on how difficult the cases may be along with seeing some counsels. If I'm at the office, my typical day ends around 5 p.m. Then I come home to prepare dinner with the family as eating clean and healthy is a top priority for me, as well as catching up with the husband and the kids.
Did you always want to be a doctor?
Truth be told, I didn't think I wanted to be a doctor growing up. I had seen two of my older sisters working their butt off in medical school as well as residency. I was like, "I don't think I can do that to myself." But I knew their jobs were also very rewarding.
Visiting London with my family was actually what made me reconsider. I absolutely loved it there. I told my mom, if I could get an opportunity to study in medical school abroad one day, it would be in London. Lo' and Behold, my prayers were answered and I was accepted to medical school there. (I was also accepted into the College of Aeronautics in New York, so I still had a tough decision to make.) I recall praying to God about it. I was the youngest of nine, so it was hard for me to choose to live away from home even though I knew it was the right one. My mother gave me her blessing, and this solidified my decision.
What is the best part of your job?
I am pleased to be a female gastroenterologist in a male-dominated field. My female patients especially appreciate it when scheduling a colonoscopy because it makes them feel less anxious. The best part of my job would be when I get to remove precancerous polyps during a colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screenings. It's dear to me because my dad died from colorectal cancer. Also, when patients emphasize that I've alleviated their chronic pain from GI issues, I feel very grateful.
Do you have any words of wisdom to women considering medical school?
First, make sure it's your decision and no one else's. Second, make sure you're passionate about it because there will be long, laborious days and nights that may push you to the point where you will feel like giving up. Lastly, I think it's important not to sacrifice your personal life for your career. You can be a physician, a mom, a wife all at the same time with proper work-life balance and a supporting cast.
Want to see more? You can follow Dr. Jawairia on Instagram @dailydosebydrj.