TransforMD: Describe your traditional path in medicine:
Carly: I completed residency in psychiatry at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in 2012 including sub-specialized reproductive psychiatry training at Weill/Cornell in the Payne Whitney Women’s Program. I started a private practice after graduating while also accepting a position as the Director of Women’s Mental Health embedded within the OBGYN outpatient clinic and Clinical Course Director of the Advanced Resident Elective in Reproductive Psychiatry. I also began working as a voluntary attending in the Payne Whitney Women’s Clinic following graduation.
TransforMD: What was the turning point or inspiration for you to make a major shift in your career? What are you doing differently now?
Carly: The turning point in my career came with the birth of my third child. I decided to restructure my career to allow me to experience all the things with my third child that I had missed with my older two, who I had while in training. I cut back my hours from five days a week to two in my office, and stepped away from my position at Mount Sinai Beth Israel as the Director of Women’s Mental Health in favor of having the time to focus on all three of my children as well as expanding my career. I began writing and connected with a writing partner, who is a G-D send and remains a fixture in my life. He pushed me to submit an essay to the Huffington Post and, shockingly, Arianna Huffington responded within a few days offering me a blog. This email happened to arrive the night before I ran my first NYC marathon, six months after having my third baby – talk about a big weekend! Media requests trickled in and then came more regularly, which was exciting. I had accepted the position as Research Chair on the board for Postpartum Support International and through that had done a guest radio spot about women’s mental health. Fast forward about a year and someone from Bold Brave Media contacted me asking if I would be interested in having my own radio show – at first I thought the email was just spam! But, after they called my office and clearly were legit, I followed up and now have done roughly 130 episodes and am broadcast around the world each week as well as streamed via TuneIn Radio and iHeart Radio live and available on iTunes as a podcast. My newest venture is a total shift change in that my good friend, an acupuncturist, and I are currently in the process of launching a nutritional bar company made specifically for women. We have been working on our idea for about two years and are finally seeing it come to fruition, which requires a ton of work and necessitated acquisition of a totally new skill set. I had no clue about margins, how to write a business plan or pitch investors, and through this endeavor I’m learning more every day and it’s really thrilling.
TransforMD: Did you have doubts or hurdles along the way? What was the biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?
Carly: Nothing worth doing happens without initial fears, uncertainties and stumbles along the path. I had many misgivings before I left my position at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, but I followed my instincts and my heart and it turned out better than I could have imagined. My practice started thriving very shortly thereafter, and I found two new platforms for sharing information about women’s health, being the radio and through writing. In terms of missteps, I made one error about two years ago when I hired a publicist. In hindsight I was already getting a lot of media attention and could get my name into print and online on my own, so I am not sure what I hoped would come from working with her. She is a wonderful person, but the year plus working with her ended up costing me a lot of money without any discernible benefit.
TransforMD: Imagine you could travel back in time and give yourself an important piece of advice. What would it be, and when would have been the most important time in life to receive it?
Carly: Senior year of college, I took an education course to fulfill a requirement to graduate, and the professor assigned an essay on why we had chosen our next step in life. I wrote about my career choice of medicine, how I was excited to go to NYU and so forth, and he returned it with the comment ‘Bullshit’ in red letters on the top. I was horrified, angry, mortified and resolute that he was wrong. In hindsight however, he was absolutely en point that I really had no idea why I was going to medical school beyond that it was the path I had always assumed I would follow to be like my hero, my father. If I could go back in time, I would go back to that moment upon receiving that essay and would really consider why I was entering into medicine. Knowing my current endpoint, I would make the same choices, but the path to get here would have been far smoother had I realized my true ‘why’ early on in the process.
TransforMD: How is the TransforMD curriculum and mission important to women physicians who are wanting some change but not sure what to do or how to do it?
Carly: TransforMD would be beneficial for any female physician at a crossroad in her career!
You may follow Dr Snyder on FB at @carlysnydermd and on Instagram at @mdformoms. You may contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.