Where Are They Now: Lori Rosenstein, MD

photo courtesy of Gundersen Health

Lori Rosenstein, MD. Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship Program Director. Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, WI

What were some of the projects you worked on while you were at Iowa and how did this work prepare you for your career?

Without a doubt the biggest influence on my career was my year as chief resident and my participation in FACE (Fellows as Clinical Educators). This was the first time I realized that I could potentially have a career as an educator. I always thought that to be valued in academics I had to do tons of research and although I enjoy research I didn’t think it was my true calling.  I thought that good teachers were just born that way. But during this year I learned specific skills to improve my teaching as well as skills to problem solve and to manage conflicts. That year was a total eye-opener for me about what a career in medical education might look like. 

What is a “fun fact” (however you want to interpret this) about you that folks here might not know? 

I am a total hematology nerd and love getting dorky hematology related clothes and gifts. I was super excited to find compression socks with blood cells on them that I wore to the ASH [American Society of Hematology] 5K. In my mind, I was the envy of all. 

What was most valuable to you during your years at the University of Iowa?

I really felt supported during my training. When I think about the things I miss the most, it always comes back to the people. Everyone from my co-residents to fellows to faculty and support staff went out of their way to help me be successful.   

What is one memory that stands out from your time at Iowa?

I went into preterm labor while I was the senior on the heme/onc service.  My daughter was born at 23 weeks. Even though most people hadn’t even known I was pregnant, my co-residents and the training program really rallied around us. I even had residents offer to give me their vacation time (which I didn’t accept, but isn’t that just amazing?). I also knew my daughter was getting exceptional care from one of the best NICUs in the country. She just turned 16 last month and other than needing glasses and having mild hearing loss in one ear there’s no evidence that she was a former micro-preemie. I still believe that if I had matched anywhere else my daughter might not be here. 

What is something you learned at Iowa that you still use in your current role?

That’s really hard to answer. I think it’s all the little lessons I learned along the way. You know how people always warn you that someday you will sound like your mother? Well, instead of my mother sometimes I hear myself talking to the fellows and I sound like Scott Vogelgesang or Janet Schlecte or Donald MacFarlane or Brian Link (and too many more to name).

How do you maintain a life-work balance in your current role?

This is a constant struggle for us all, but I think through trial and error I have learned to prioritize my own health and fitness. I can’t be a good doctor or a good family member if I’m not taking care of myself. I try to make sure that every “extra” thing I sign up for either at work or personally is something that I really want to do. Rather than saying “yes” to everything, I’m much more likely to say “no” or “let me think about it.” I want to be open to new experiences so that I continue to grow and develop as a hematologist, educator, and leader but not overwhelm myself.   

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