One day each week, I am home with kids. I get lunches made, send the older ones off on the bus, get my younger child through his morning routine, then bring him along as I do groceries and get the routine household chores done, making snacks, cleaning up, shuttling kids back and forth to practices and activities. It puts me in an active role with my kids that I always wanted to have. The catch is that many of my mentors and role models in medicine would have said this was simply not possible in an academic medical career. Medicine is so all encompassing of a lifestyle; one simply cannot do it all. As someone who has found a satisfying balance between academic medicine and caregiving needs at home, I try to provide encouragement and guidance to trainees and peers to think creatively, and articulate what it is they want as they construct their careers.
The Mary O’Flaherty Horne Scholarship offers a unique opportunity to simultaneously pursue academic success and personal/home/family success. 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the first awardee, and the goals and parameters have just been updated this year to reflect changing careers and expectations. The Horn Award committee will choose one scholar at the 2020 SGIM annual meeting, who will receive salary support from 2020 through 2023 toward a balanced career at 0.5- 0.8 FTE. This is a competitive award with an expectation that awardees will boost (and not diminish) their academic output, allowing divisions like ours to tout the diversity of our faculty members and their accomplishments.