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…Cassie, MD!
The Mavens: Hi Cassie! It’s great to finally chat with you after following you on IG and being such fans of yours. We love that your social media pages focus on teaching, education and inspiring others. Why has education been such an important aspect of your personal/professional profile?
CM: The drive to educate has always been part of my personality. There were so many times in my younger years that I wished I had more advice to help me get through life challenges so I feel the need to give back in ways that would’ve helped me during those times. I started with a teaching assistant position during undergrad. In medical school I took on various leadership roles and throughout residency I was very involved with medical student education in the Emergency Department.
I didn’t really find my niche until I started using social media. I see so many patients come through the ED who just haven’t had the education about various, basic medical topics, that could help them be healthier in life. With the volume rising in the ED and in primary care offices, doctors just don’t have the same amount of time to spend with patients, and are pushed by the system to see patients quickly and efficiently. This model leaves less time for education and patient-physician connection.
Most everyone has a cell phone these days, and I thought, perhaps I could do something positive with my platform and access to social media. So I started educating about things that I wish I had more time to talk with my patients about, hoping maybe I can reach people through social media, if not in my daily job.
The Mavens: Health and wellness are clearly an important part of your lifestyle as well. What makes this so important for you and what tips do you have for our fellow Mavens on how to effectively incorporate a fitness regimen into their busy work and life schedules.
CM: My personal belief is that good health, a good attitude, and life balance leads to true happiness. My hopes and dreams came true when I graduated medical school and I was fortunate enough to snag a residency spot in Southern California. However, I realized during my first year of residency that I reached all of my professional goals, but I still wasn’t happy. I had been focusing only on work and being a good doctor, and it really wore me down physically and mentally.
Once I got creative and implemented a fitness routine and time for self-care into my regular schedule, things changed for me. I tell most of my patients, “if I can find time to work out and eat healthy with a constant changing schedule, that includes intermittent night shifts, you can find time to work out too”. 🙂
My secrets? I do squats and core work everywhere. Literally in between patients. I ALWAYS take the stairs, and I exercise my butt off on the days I am not at work. HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts have really helped me become stronger and feel accomplished. I love the combination of strength training with intermittent bursts of cardio. These workouts can be done in 20 minutes (perfect for a busy schedule) but still burn tons of calories.
The Mavens: Wow, that’s pretty impressive. I think most mavens would agree that after working so hard to become Mavens in Medicine, we often forget our other passions. It’s great that you acknowledged that and did something about it! If you could do anything else/go into another profession, what would it be and why?
CM: I have always been attracted to health/wellness and fitness. If I weren’t in medicine I would definitely be a personal trainer/fitness instructor. I love to be a motivator, educator, and pusher. The idea of being healthy and working out for a living… well that sounds amazing! Unfortunately, the medical field makes those goals tough to accomplish, but I have definitely found ways to make it work.
The Mavens: What else are you a Maven in?
CM: I was a ballet dancer for 12 years, so I’d like to call myself a dancing maven. I guess my recent social media endeavors make me a social media/blogging maven too 🙂
The Mavens: Well as followers of you on social media, we can certainly agree that you are a Social Media Maven indeed!
Cassie, we would love to get your opinion on the state of women in our country and around the world since that is such a talked about current event. Unfortunately, there are so many women in the world who do not get the opportunity to be Mavens in Medicine, simply because of their sex. What do you think we, as women who have had the opportunities to pursue the careers we love, can do to either bring awareness to this disparity or to help move our society forward in their thinking about women?
CM: Honestly, I think we’re already doing what we should to bring awareness to this issue. In the United States, the number of female physicians has sky rocketed over the years. We are a successful, motivated, caring bunch of women, and we are showing the rest of the world that successful female physicians are here to stay. I think that by using the internet and social media, we can provide additional information to those females who may be interested in the field, and perhaps help them with the steps and confidence to move forward.
I honestly don’t see gender discrimination on a regular basis in my field. I work with a lot of male physicians, and they are my teammates. The few times that I have witnessed gender discrimination myself, I realized that much of the outcome was dependent on how I personally handled the situation. I try to teach other females that may have those experiences, that if you believe in yourself and have confidence in your decisions in medicine, those experiences become fewer and far between. Patients pass judgement frequently, but if you stand up straight, speak with confidence, and show them that you deserve respect, they typically follow suit. The less I focus on how patients or collegues are judging me for my gender, physical appearance, and age (these are the most typical comments I receive), the better off I am. As a female physician, I can accept that there will always be some type of opinion or judgement passed, but the real outcome is dependent on how I handle that personally.
The Mavens: Those are some very inspiring words and we absoluley agree…believing in yourself and being confident in your decisions is the key to demanding respect from others. As a final note, do you have a quote or mantra that’s motivating your drive at this point in time?
CM: “You can’t change what’s going on around you until you start changing what’s going on within you.”
Especially in Emergency Medicine, it is very easy to get bogged down in the negative. The negative aspects of the healthcare system, the overcrowding, angry patients, the pressure to perform well, the list goes on and on. These problems will not change overnight, and the change is dependent on organizations much larger than a group of physicians or a hospital committee. Once I changed my attitude about these situations, I was able to accept that this is the nature of the job that I chose.
The Mavens: Cassie, it was so wonderful speaking with you! Please continue doing the amazing work that you are doing in the ED, on social media and in the lives of so many.
CM: Thank you ladies!
Cassie Majestic is an Emergency Medicine Physician in Southern California. You can follow her on IG @dr.majestic_md