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.

Research Explores Evidence-Based Medicine and Primary Care

According to a paper co-authored by Dr. Daniella Zipkin of the Duke University Medical Center and published recently in the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, primary-care medical professionals deal with several challenges in incorporating evidence-based medicine into their practices. Evidence-based medicine constitutes using the most up-to-date and highest-quality research in carrying out decisions related to patient care.

Daniella Zipkin’s paper, titled “Evidence-Based Medicine and Primary Care: Keeping Up is Hard to Do,” explores in-depth the data in support of evidence-based medicine, and suggests methods for overcoming the difficulties and integrating it smoothly into everyday care practices. Moreover, Dr. Zipkin’s research highlights the increasingly important role evidence-based medicine will play in the health care establishment, especially considering that professionals can fulfill Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 criteria through the practice of evidence-based medicine.

To read Daniella Zipkin’s paper in its entirety and to browse other articles in the September/October 2012 issue of the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, please visit
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1931-7581.

Research Explores Evidence-Based Medicine and Primary Care

According to a paper co-authored by Dr. Daniella Zipkin of the Duke University Medical Center and published recently in the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, primary-care medical professionals deal with several challenges in incorporating evidence-based medicine into their practices. Evidence-based medicine constitutes using the most up-to-date and highest-quality research in carrying out decisions related to patient care. Daniella Zipkin’s paper, titled “Evidence-Based Medicine and Primary Care: Keeping Up is Hard to Do,” explores in-depth the data in support of evidence-based medicine, and suggests methods for overcoming the difficulties and integrating it smoothly into everyday care practices. Moreover, Dr. Zipkin’s research highlights the increasingly important role evidence-based medicine will play in the health care establishment, especially considering that professionals can fulfill Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 criteria through the practice of evidence-based medicine. To read Daniella Zipkin’s paper in its entirety and to browse other articles in the September/October 2012 issue of the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, please visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1931-7581.

Medical Education Community Lacks Proper Training on Physician-Pharmaceutical Company Interactions

Each year, pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars on marketing and outreach, and an overwhelming majority of those funds support promoting drugs to physicians and other medical professionals. Studies and literature show that these promotional activities effectively influence doctors some to most of the time, including affecting their prescribing actions and their decisions in stocking their pharmacies.

However, interactions between pharmaceutical companies and physicians often begin before the latter population even finishes medical school. Drug manufacturers sponsor meals and conferences for doctors-in-training, provide them with books and gifts, and even back scientific meetings that they attend. In one study, medical students reported an average of 10 to 11 contacts with pharmaceutical representatives each month. Plus, many medical school program directors allow these interactions to take place by providing opportunities for drug reps to give presentations to and meet with students. At the same time, the majority of physician trainees report being underprepared for such meetings and interactions and not fully aware of the guidelines governing them. According to one study, only about 23 percent of medical residents reported reading such guidelines.

About the Author:
Daniella Zipkin, M.D., researched medical student-pharmaceutical company relationships while working as an Attending Physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Tips for Balancing Work and Parenting

by Dr. Daniella Zipkin

As an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Duke University Medical Center, and mother of two toddlers, Dr. Daniella Zipkin juggles her time between work and family. Here, Dr. Zipkin offers tips based on her ability to balance these two important aspects of her life:

1. Establish consistent routines. Regular morning and bedtime routines offer a lot of stability in the lives of toddlers and small children, since they will know what to expect. If you are lucky enough to have a work schedule with regular hours, make sure you are a part of these rituals each day, to the extent that you’re able. If your shifts vary or you often work late or overnight, set clear expectations ahead of time, and consider creating a calendar system once your child is old enough to understand one. Giving the child some control by letting them look ahead at what’s coming should ease the turbulence for them.

2. Streamline mealtime. Prepare simple foods you can eat for a few nights, or try cooking on weekends and freezing foods for the week to come. Sit down each evening for a family meal so everyone can stay connected.

3. Turn off the TV, computer, and video games. These activities waste significant amounts of time you could be spending together as a family. Instead, enjoy one another’s company through group activities such as reading together, playing games, or doing puzzles.

4. Take the pressure off! It’s natural to feel some pull towards “making it up to the kids” when you do have time together, by planning special events or buying gifts. Remember that, to your toddlers and small children, the best thing they can have is time with you. Take the pressure off of your free time together, don’t worry about planning too much, and enjoy time at home, outside, or parks nearby.

5. Help your young child or toddler feel special by paying attention to their activities. Encourage them to do more of what they enjoy, and be sure to keep mementos of your time together with you when you work – whether that’s a drawing they have made, or photos you have taken together.