Women in Healthcare: Dr. Eliza Chin

Dr. Eliza Chin in a Medelita Lab Coat

Dr. Eliza Chin in a Medelita Lab Coat

As National Women’s Health Week draws to a close, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge one of many women in the medical profession who work tirelessly every day to empower others to live healthier lives.

Eliza Chin, MD, MPH, has a very long list of achievements (though you’d be hard pressed to get her to talk about them). Harvard Medical School graduate, Columbia University graduate, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia and UCSF, featured physician in the NIH/National Library of Medicine’s Exhibition on Women in Medicine, past President of the American Medical Women’s Association, and published author. But her proudest achievement of all is, in her own words, “Being mom to three fabulous kids.”

Dr. Chin was preparing to begin her prestigious Columbia Fellowship when she and her husband, a surgical resident, learned the wonderful news that they were going to have a baby. Eliza decided to take a part-time faculty position so that she could begin the equally challenging work of raising a family. Four years later, the Chins were expecting their third child, and Eliza took a reprieve from her clinical duties to become a full-time stay-at-home mom.

Was it a difficult choice for her? “You know, the hardest part was saying goodbye to my patients. But, no, the decision wasn’t difficult; it just made sense.”

Dr. Chin used her sabbatical not only to care for her children, but to edit This Side Of Doctoring: Reflections From Women in Medicine, a critically acclaimed collection of poems, stories, essays and quotations that capture the joy and heartbreak of being a woman and a physician. Three years later, she began practicing medicine again, treating geriatric patients in Northern California.

“It’s definitely been challenging,” Dr. Chin says when asked how she manages caring for three young children and a growing practice. “I worked my way slowly back in and built it up. I feel I’ve been incredibly lucky to have both: to be a part of my kids’ lives and have a rewarding professional life. Despite how busy my schedule can be sometimes, it has all been well worth the effort.”

Dr. Chin largely credits her decision to start a family on the positive influence of women in the medical profession. She explains, “Practice styles used to be 24/7. I think women coming into the profession have changed that — for men and for women. I’ve had a male physician come up to me and express his thanks to women physicians for making it possible to have a career and a family.”

Along with a more balanced approached to professional life, Dr. Chin also believes that women bring a certain level of empathy to patient care. “I don’t like making generalizations, but women typically have a comfortable bedside manner. They bring humanity to the patient/doctor relationship.”

While women in medicine so often give so much of themselves to their patients and practice, Dr. Chin acknowledges it’s not always easy for women to take time for themselves. “We do neglect ourselves. It’s hard to find ways to make time for the things you enjoy, but you try. I just took a weekend glass flame-working class, and it was fabulous.”

While serving as President of the American Medical Women’s Association last year, Dr. Eliza Chin wore her Medelita lab coat to the White House for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move launch to eradicate childhood obesity. When asked what she thinks of her Medelita lab coat, Dr. Chin says, “The quality and durability are wonderful, and it feels great. I love it, and applaud them for taking a stand to create something special for women in healthcare.”

At Medelita, we believe that professional women like Dr. Chin should be recognized and rewarded for the incredible balancing act they perform every day.

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Callia Lab Coat v. Ellody Lab Coat

A lot of women are perplexed by the differences between the Callia lab coat and the Ellody lab coat.  Let me attempt to erase any confusion.

The Callia lab coat is the original, signature coat by Medelita.  Distinctly feminine, yet appropriately professional and distinguished, the Callia lab coat features rounded lapels, rounded corners on the chest and front pockets, and beautiful back waist detail with buttons.  Pleating above and below the back waist belt make it especially flattering to the female figure.  At the time we introduced this original style in May 2008, it was considered an ‘out of the box’ risk to place rounded lapels and a tailored silhouette on a female physician lab coat.  But it has proven to be a risk well worth taking, as so many of our colleagues enjoy wearing the Callia lab coat.

The Ellody lab coat was our second introduction in the Medelita women’s lab coat line.  Derived simply out of customer requests and feedback . . . we heard 100+ times that you wanted something similar to the Callia but shorter.  And that is what we made.  The Ellody lab coat is 34 inches (4 inches shorter than the Callia) and has a flat back waist band.  All other details, finishing and styling are exactly the same.  The only sizing difference being that the Ellody is available in a 00.

Take a look at both coats up close by clicking on the links below:

Callia Lab Coat  http://www.medelita.com/lab-coat-callia.html

EllodyLab Coat  http://www.medelita.com/lab-coat-ellody.html

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Unloading 6000+ Lab Coats

Extreme patience would be an understatement.  Some of our customers/colleagues have waited over 4 months for lab coat styles that were forced into backorder status, much sooner than anticipated.  A sorta good issue and sorta bad issue to have.  Good – in that more and more physicians and dentists are interested in buying from Medelita, thanks to (mainly) word of mouth and taking note of the improved fit, styling, and fabric of Medelita lab coats.  The negative – those who wanted a Medelita lab coat right away, had a painstakingly long wait to receive one.  Sorta a frustrating first impression, and not one that we would choose to give.

But happily last Friday we heard the truck coming and anxiously ran outside to a sunny, warm day and the largest delivery we’ve ever received.  The Callia, Estie, Ellody, Osler, Laennec, and Fauchard style lab coats arrived in larger numbers than ever before.  And the quality – exceptional.  The six of us (see picture) managed to muscle up 204 very heavy boxes onto palates and then into our warehouse.  Not something that we typically do . . . but an extremely impressive effort.  The energy and pride were at an all-time high.  Our team wanted nothing more than to get the items counted and stocked, as soon as possible, so that we could expedite the orders to our valiantly patient customers/colleagues.

Those of you waiting for one these men’s or women’s lab coat styles, you can expect your lab coat to ship early this week – if not already.  Embroidered lab coat orders were given top priority, and will ship within 8-10 business days.

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How the Elizabeth B. Lab Coat got her name . . .

Originally Medelita lab coats were named by utilizing elegant, sophisticated female names.  Then one day our design team thought  . . . why not utilize prominent figures in medicine and dentistry to name our lab coats?  People that our customers truly recognized and admired, from history.  Such a meaningful idea, we thought about re-naming the Callia, Ellody, Estie, and Sophia.  But as our benchmark lab coats, the decision was made to transition to this new methodology of naming, going forward.

Elizabeth Blackwell was the obvious choice for the first Medelita women’s lab coat to carry a “true” name.  Elizabeth B. for short.  Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female doctor in the United States. She was the first openly identified woman to graduate from medical school on January 23, 1849, a pioneer in educating women in medicine in the United States, and was prominent in the emerging women’s rights movement.

Also the “first” of it’s kind . . . the Elizabeth B. lab coat is a consultation length and/or student length lab coat, 28″ in length measured from the back of the neck to the back center hem of the coat.  With Medelita signature rounded lapels and rounded pocket detail, as well as vertical darting both in front and in back – this coat is stunning.  Professional, sophisticated, and classic – this lab coat has been so popular that we simply cannot maintain our inventory.   Popular amongst students, NPs, dentists, vets,  international physicians and those who prefer a shorter length coat, the Elizabeth B. is following in the footsteps of it’s predecessor by fearlessly breaking the norms, and setting new ground.  No longer is a flimsy, boxy, shapeless garment your only choice when it comes to a consultation length women’s lab coat.

Take a closer look at the Elizabeth B. lab coat at http://www.medelita.com/lab-coat-elizabeth-b.html

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