Courtney Hudson Hinton, DO '14/MBA | Behind the White Coat
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Courtney Hudson Hinton, DO '14/MBA

January 9, 2019

Courtney Hudson Hinton, DO’ 14/MBA holding her twin baby boys“Eight weeks before I was to complete my residency, and 24 weeks into my pregnancy, I gave birth to twin boys—my miracle babies. One weighed 1 pound 3 ounces, the other was 1 pound 11 ounces. They were in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for three months.  . . . After six weeks of healing from my C-section, I returned to complete my residency. I’d already signed a contract to work at Avance Care, so once the boys were discharged from the NICU, my husband and I packed up to move from Pennsylvania to North Carolina with them. Life last summer was quite crazy.  . . . Medicine, by its nature, makes it tough to raise a family. While more women today are becoming pregnant while building their medical careers, medical training has not traditionally been set up in a way to be supportive. The timing is off. The most intense period of your medical training is when you are supposed to start a family. I’m lucky that my residency program and current employer have supported me. Their support was profoundly important. It was the difference between my family being OK and my family not being OK.  . . . I work in a family medicine group practice, with behavioral health specialists, nutritionists, with a full lab and X-ray services. We’re open seven days a week, which I think is a great model—especially if you are a doctor with young children. In any 14-day period, I’ll have six days off. This week I’ll work 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Next week it’s 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Such a schedule was important in the beginning because my sons needed so much intense health care early in their lives. The schedule allows me to have a work/life balance; when I get home, I turn off the doctor, and turn on the wife and mom without it having an impact on my job. I can’t imagine working 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day or taking 24-hour calls/shifts. It makes me keenly aware of the difficulties that colleagues of mine go through.  . . . There’s a lot of stress in the first year of a new job in medicine, but I think it would have been more stressful if I hadn’t done my residency training at the Crozer-Keystone Health System. The program did a good job of escalating our responsibilities as we moved through training. Though we were supervised, we were forced to get comfortable with making our own decisions. I’m not someone who readily likes to get outside my comfort zone. In hindsight, it was 100 percent the best thing for me and it set me up for success now.”