Mavens in the Spotlight…Meet Amanda H., MD!

We are so excited to Spotlight some of the most amazing Mavens in Medicine, bringing a positive spirit, expertise in her field and fabulous style to the world of medicine and beyond! Meet our newest Spotlight Maven…Amanda, MD!

The Mavens: What made you decide to pursue Medicine/Emergency Medicine? 

Amanda:I honestly am not sure. I just always knew that I would be a physician. Nothing weird or traumatic happened to me that made me veer towards medicine. As far as Emergency Medicine as a speciality, I found that I liked parts of all specialties, but not enough to do JUST Peds or Heme/Onc etc.  Also, I hate the OR. And the morning. So surgical specialties were out. I was a really good waitress the first half of my life and am a natural multi-tasker, so EM was a good fit. Turns out I prefer to be a “Jack of all trades, Expert at nothing.”

The Mavens: So you’ve worked as a waitress, now you are a doctor…if you could do anything else/go into another profession, what would it be and why?

Amanda: I would probably either be a Chef or an Event Planner. I’m a highly sociable person and am adept at making parties of all kinds.  It’s alot of work but very satisfying to make your guests smile.

The Mavens: Who is (are) your personal or professional icon(s) and why?

Amanda: From an artistic standpoint, I emulate Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, and Julia Child. Each was revolutionary, innovative, and unapologetic in her creativity and womanhood. From a humanity standpoint, I admire Anne Frank, because she said, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” – which I believe. And my personal icons would be my parents, who are desperately in love, and live their lives with integrity every day.

The Mavens: A few years ago, you were part of a team of physicians who traveled to Haiti to provide medical relief. Can you briefly describe how you became involved with that and what the experience was like?

Amanda: When I turned on the TV the day of the earthquake, I was shocked by my reaction. It was like a force much larger than myself willed me to go. My mentor at Beth Israel in Manhattan contacted his buddy at Univ. of Miami heading up the Project Medishare Program. I was on a plane 5 days later…scared to death. That week was easily the most exhilarating, stressful, emotionally charged, educational, and rewarding week of my entire life. It encompassed the entire spectrum of human emotion. I made strong personal connections to people living and working there, including a few who are no longer with us. Despite the red tape, corruption, and lack of resources that challenged us, that connectivity existed because we were practicing medicine in a simple and cooperative manner. We had to…or nothing got done. And that actually felt REALLY good.

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The Mavens: After returning to the States, how did that experience affect your outlook on health care/the practice of medicine/health disparities?

Amanda: In a word, that SUCKED. I was grateful to sleep in my own bed but guilt ridden that I was not still on the ground with my friends and coworkers. I wasn’t gone long, but adjusting to being home wasn’t easy. You see the Haitian people, despite their insane lack of resources and incredible poverty, are grateful and appreciative. It was infuriating to return to hoards of American ER patients who can be demanding, insensitive, and entitled. To this day when I encounter a patient like this, I often think, “I wish I could pick you up by your hair and drop you in the middle of Port au Prince so you could see how people with REAL problems live.” Alas…everyone is allowed to have their own reality. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The Mavens: One definitely has to have a passion for what they do despite the trying circumstances that they may be called to work in. Having experienced that, how would you describe your work ethic?

Amanda: Take responsibility for your own work. Don’t scut. Also, the day you stop crying when bad things happen to good people…you should retire.

The Mavens: Shifting gears a bit here, as a busy Maven, how do you balance school, your personal/family obligations and maintaining your sense of self?

Amanda: I’m NOT the best at this. I have a low level, chronic case of FOMO:) [Fear Of Missing Out] So I just try to do it all, and when I’m burnt on both ends, you can find me face down drooling in my bed, sleeping like a dead person. Mentally I get it together via exercise (yoga, running, boxing), travel (anywhere that makes me uncomfortable), and regular wine dates with friends.

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The Mavens: Many Mavens in Medicine are never one dimensional, so we always like to ask what else are you a Maven in?

Amanda: I am a great singer. I sang The National Anthem acapella in 3-part harmony with 2 friends on stage at the Kimmel Center for my med school graduation. I also won a karaoke tourny in Wilkes Barre once (less impressive but oh so fun).

The Mavens: Describe to us your personal style and is there a person who is a fashion inspiration to you?

Amanda: I tend to wear simple, classic silhouettes and use accessories to mix it up season to season. I especially love Art Deco and Middle Eastern inspired jewelry. My everyday fashion inspiration is somewhere in the Audrey Hepburn/Jackie O sphere. My dressy fashion inspiration comes straight from Gatsby.

The Mavens: What is your go to wardrobe item or outfit? 

Amanda: I mean…where am I going? lol. Either a shifty short dress/tights/booties/leather jacket, or skinny jeans/silk blouse/blazer/heels. Bold metallic deco earrings, a large cocktail ring, and a bangle or two.

The Mavens: Random question, it’s Friday night,  would you rather go out to eat or make a meal from scratch? Why? 

Amanda: I like to cook during the week and on Sunday nights. I find chopping vegetables very therapeutic.  But Fridays are for going out, eating somewhere new and fabulous, seeing, and being seen.

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The Mavens: Do you have a quote/mantra that’s motivating your drive at this point in time?

Amanda: I have 3, and they are similar: 1) “Eat well. Travel often.” 2) “Eat. See. Live. When all is said and done you’re a little bit better for it.” – Anthony Bourdain 3) “Wherever you go…There you are.” – Winnie the Pooh &  My Dad

Dr. Amanda is a certified Emergency Medicine physician in Pennsylvania.

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