Today, on National Women Physicians Day, we reflect on the trailblazing legacy of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States in 1849. In honor of Women Physicians Day, we are excited to share the story of Dr. Andrea Dawson, an experienced anesthesiologist making an impact in medicine nationwide.  

Dr. Dawson's Journey into Anesthesiology

Dr. Andrea Dawson is a seasoned anesthesiologist and mother of three, breaking barriers and redefining what it means to thrive in the medical field. Her journey into medicine, specifically anesthesia, came from her love of diversity in patient care. Andrea shared, "I wanted to be able to treat all age groups and genders.". The allure of the operating room, the precision of procedures, and the intensity of acuity over chronicity became her calling. Dr. Dawson found her place in anesthesiology, recognizing her pivotal role as an intensivist in an operating room setting, sharing, "I fell in love with patient advocacy and the potential for practicing in a variety of settings.".

Career and Motherhood

As a devoted wife and mother, Dr. Dawson faced the challenge of balancing a traditional permanent position with her yearning for autonomy and a fuller sense of self. "I decided to explore locum tenens because I was ready to be outside of the box," she shared. "I desperately needed time and autonomy to be my full self. As a mother of three small children, when I was an employed physician, I never had the time to pursue my passions entirely.".

Thriving with Locum Tenens

Since embracing locum tenens, Dr. Dawson has found a more balanced version of herself. She highlighted, "I get to do things that make me happy when I want to. I no longer have to defer life satisfaction in favor of career satisfaction. I have them BOTH!".

Fulfilling Career and Impactful Work

Working as a locum tenens anesthesiologist has provided her not only with a better work-life balance but also with a rewarding, fulfilling career. She explained, "As a pediatric anesthesiologist, it means everything to the surgeons, the patients, and their families that you have decided to help. Your presence allows a child to receive the surgical care that he/she needs.". Her current assignment with Medicus has impacted not only the lives of others but also her own by forging connections and valued friendships. Dr. Dawson explained, "The other locum tenens docs and I have dinner together. We exchange information and help one another thrive personally and professionally.".

Transformative Power of Locum Tenens

The transformative power of a locum tenens career has genuinely impacted Dr. Dawsons' work-life balance for the better. She explained, "I have a life now. Time autonomy is priceless! I am a fully present mother. I will only work a holiday if I choose to work a holiday. I can make my children's weekend sporting events and playdates. My husband and I have more dates than we ever had prior to resigning from permanent employment. I travel a ton! I pursue my hobbies and passions, and I serve the world! Medical mission work is dear to me, and I have already done one trip to Guatemala with a few additional countries lined up for this year!".

Dreams and Aspirations

Although Dr. Dawson is relatively new to the locum tenens lifestyle and her travels have not been too far, she loves her current location in warm and sunny Florida. However, she is enamored with dreams of spending the summers in the Pacific Northwest or Alaska, which is all possible due to a career as a locum tenens anesthesiologist.

Advice for Aspiring Women in Medicine

In honor of National Women Physicians Day, she gives aspiring women anesthesiologists and other women considering a career in medicine some advice, "Talk to other women, network widely, and do not be bound by fear! You CAN do it!".

Dr. Andrea Dawson's story stands as a testament to the transformative power of locum tenens, showcasing the pursuit of a fulfilling career, a thriving personal life, and the unwavering spirit of a woman making her mark in the world of medicine. As we celebrate this day, let us continue to celebrate and support the remarkable women shaping the future of medicine.

If you're interested in working locum tenens anesthesiology, view our open jobs here!