#BEYOUROWN MEETS DR PARI GHODSI
Dr. Pari Ghodsi is a board certified and active Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology from Southern Methodist University in 2002. She then attended medical school at the prestigious, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and graduated in 2006. Dr. Pari completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 2010.
Following Graduation, she practiced in Plano, Texas where she received several awards within her community including being named a Top Doctor of Collin County by D Magazine. She currently practices in Los Angeles California serving the un-doctored and underserved patients of The San Fernando Valley at Northridge Hospital.
Dr. Pari loves to write and speak about women’s health and issues in a relatable way. She brings a unique touch when educating, often sharing her own experiences as a woman. She has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Drew Podcast, The LA Times, Fox News, CW, and ABC News affiliates, Fox News Radio, The Chip Franklin Show, I Heart Radio, The Jeff Crilley Show and The Huffington Post.
She is a regular contributor to many women-focused publications including; Glamour, Redbook, Women’s Health Magazine, Yahoo Health, Today, Parents Magazine, Dame Magazine, and Self Magazine.
Dr. Pari has also been a contributing writer for the online magazine, Elite Daily, a publication recognized as the voice of Generation Y. In her free time, she enjoys her life as a single girl in beautiful and plentiful LA.
Hey Dr. Pari, can you introduce yourself to us?
Hi, I am Dr. Pari Ghodsi, I am a practicing OB-GYN that is also passionate about educating women about their health through the media.
Can you take us through your journey as to how you arrived at where you are now?
I have wanted to be a physician for as long as I can remember. While I was in medical school I decided that I wanted to work with women. I am a “girl’s girl” and have always been an advocate for women. Once I was on my OB-GYN rotation, I delivered a baby and immediately I knew that OB/GYN was the specialty for me. I was in practice for about five years when I became interested in educating women outside of the office. Every dinner party I attended or a night out with the girls that I was a part of, someone would pull me over and ask me a question about her health or body. Therefore, I realized so many women are not asking their doctors the important questions.
These experiences inspired me to start educating women about their health through the media; articles, podcasts, TV, and radio. The private practice that I was a part of at the time told me that I must stop. They felt that it was “tacky” and not in line with the practice. Basically, I was in conservative Texas and it was not okay with them for me to be discussing birth control and women’s health issues from a personal point of view. So, I resigned. I moved to Los Angeles, where I am now an OB-GYN hospitalist and in my free time being able to continue educating women about their health through the media.
As a board certified and active Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, what were the first few steps to getting started?
College, medical school, then a 4-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Lastly, I had to pass both written and oral board examinations.
Currently, you practice in Los Angeles, serving the un-doctored and underserved patients of The San Fernando Valley at Northridge Hospital. Where could you see your self within the next 3-5 years?
In three to five years I see myself practicing here. I would hope to expand my reach outside of the office- continuing to work with non-profits, working in the media and perhaps having a book published.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally as working in Obstetrics and Gynaecology?
I have struggled with the mere weight of the job. Medicine is hard. You try your best to take care of your patients, but no matter what you are still human and there are risks to everything in medicine. The best doctor can still have a poor outcome. In OB-GYN you have two patients, the mother, and the baby. That can be a lot of stress.
Have you ever had a mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
I have had many mentors. For better or worst, medical training is all about hierarchy. The better part of that is that you often have the opportunity to learn from those above you that have more experience than yourself.
Which methods are you using to build your own network?
Right now I am using word of mouth, I try to talk about my passion as much as possible. I am trying to build my social media presence also. This is a challenge for me because it doesn’t come naturally to post pictures of myself, but I have ended up with some really great collaborations through social media.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions of the medical industry are?
That we are in it to make money. I understand that physicians have to make a living, but in my heart, I still believe that most physicians are in medicine to help others.
What would you like to see changed in within the medical industry?
I wish that we could fix the insurance problem. Insurance companies often dictate a patient’s care- that should be between a doctor and a patient.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
Keep going! The road to practicing medicine can be long and frustrating, but persistence pays off. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I believe this advice has prepared me not just for what my job may throw at me, but any of life’s other challenges.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
Do not doubt yourself. When I started educating women through the media, my practice told me to stop, but I believed in my voice and I believed I could help people by using it.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
I am now an OB-GYN hospitalist that has a better lifestyle than private practice, but it can still be demanding. I have always been good at compartmentalising. I do not take my work struggles home with me.
The highlight of your career so far?
Media-wise, I wrote an article that gained traction and I was asked based on the article’s content to appear on the Dr. Oz show. It felt great to know I was reaching people about my thought’s on women’s health issues. In the world of OB/GYN every time I deliver a healthy baby to a healthy mom it is a highlight.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Positive feedback. Whether that be from a patient I took care of, a reader of something I have written or a listener of something I have said, it feels good to know I have helped.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and leading female pioneers do you also admire and why?
My all-time favorite inspiration is Chelsea Handler. I have been a day 1 fan of hers. No one more brilliantly uses comedy and vulnerability to relate to other women and empower them that the way that she does. She also uses her great platform to advocate for women. I love her.
How would you say you are intending to use your voice to educate others in the Obstetrics sector?
I want all women to understand their options better. I also am passionate about educating women about the unexpected and challenging parts of pregnancy so that they not only deal with them better but also so that they feel a sense of community amongst others that have had similar experiences.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I recently read Tiffany Haddish’s book ‘The Last Black Unicorn.’ It was a fun vacay read, but more importantly, it is a great illustration of a woman sharing her challenges and ability to overcome them in a way that is inspiring.
What does your Podcast playlist look like?
The Dr. Drew Podcast that I was honored to be a guest on, also NPR Hidden Brain, and The Moth.
How do you measure your terms of success?
Fulfillment. If I feel fulfilled I know that I am being the best that I can be.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Think outside of the box and be true to yourself. I try and speak and educate in a relatable way, which often means sharing personal experiences. This is not typical of a physician. You rarely see physicians be vulnerable and share their own experiences, but for me, it feels right. I am a doctor, but I am also a daughter, a sister, a friend and a single girl in the dating world.
Lastly, what is next for you throughout 2018?
Hopefully, more collaborations as I have so many ideas on how to reach and help women! And hopefully, find and make the time to start writing a book.