How Parents Can Find a Balance Between Work and Home




An assistant professor at the Duke University School of Medicine, Dr. Daniella Zipkin also practices her specialty, internal medicine. Married with two children, Dr. Daniella Zipkin daily confronts the challenges of balancing a busy medical career with caring for and raising her family.

Working parents sometimes lose track of how well–or how poorly–they are balancing their work life with their home life. It is easy to think that as long as a child is well cared for, as in child care, all of his or her needs are being met. Parents of young children should try to take time during the day to spend with their children while they are fully awake and active. Parents for whom that is impossible should make a point to participate in activities with their children during the weekend.

As children grow older, they can help with getting the family’s chores done, both on weekday evenings and weekends. This is not only great family time, but it also helps develop a work ethic. Family time spent together should not be all work and no play, though. There needs to be time set aside for doing fun things. This includes attending and participating in events and activities at children’s schools. In addition, parenting partners must set aside private time for themselves to maintain and strengthen their own relationship.

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As a teacher, investigator, and clinician, Dr. Daniella Zipkin works with physicians, staff, and medical residents to improve practices in evidence-based medicine and doctor-patient communication. Through research grants connected to her faculty position at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, Dr. Zipkin studies the impact of communicating evidence to physicians in a collaborative atmosphere and to patients in a clinical setting. Dr. Daniella Zipkin currently serves as a Principal Investigator through a Duke Graduate Medical Education Innovation Grant on case-based teaching conferences in evidence-based medicine. She also leads a project through the Society of General Internal Medicine to create communication summaries for physicians to use with patients when explaining new clinical data. In conjunction with her academic role, Dr. Daniella Zipkin recently presented at several regional and national conferences. Dr. Zipkin developed and taught a workshop in evidence-based medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ pediatric hospitalist program. She also served as a Workshop Leader at the Society of General Internal Medicine Annual Meeting in 2011 on two programs, titled “Is a picture worth a 1,000 words? Communicating Evidence to Patients” and “Beyond Critical Appraisal: Tips for Real World Application of Study Results.” Dr. Daniella Zipkin studied at The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine and completed her residency in general internal medicine through New York University and Bellevue Hospital Center in New York. She started working as a clinician educator through a fellowship at UCSF in the Division of General Internal Medicine. Since then, Dr. Zipkin has held several faculty and research positions in evidence-based medicine at UCSF, the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco, and Duke University. In addition to her teaching background, Dr. Daniella Zipkin has served in several clinical settings as an Attending Physician at CPMC and as a Primary Care Internist at the Santa Cruz Medical Foundation in California. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center in the Division of General Internal Medicine.