Lisa Leffert: "I consider myself the luckiest person in the world.", Chief of Obstetric Anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital

Lisa Leffert: "I consider myself the luckiest person in the world.", Chief of Obstetric Anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital

Lisa Leffert is the Chief of Obstetric Anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, MA. The focus of Lisa’s clinical work is on the care of pregnant patients. Together with a highly-skilled, multidisciplinary team, Lisa administrates a service which features 3,600 deliveries a year (that is, nearly 10 births per day), involving both low and high-risk obstetric patients, on the Labor Floor and in the associated operating rooms.

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I was so fascinated with Lisa’s day-to-day life at MGH that I had to speak with her about feisworld podcast. She couldn’t be more supportive of my passion as a podcaster, and carved out a precious hour on Sunday morning (New Year’s Day) to sit down with me. I’m thrilled to finally put together this interview for my listeners.

For those of you who are not as familiar with a Day in the Life of a doctor, Lisa and someone in her position typically works 12-hour days, 6 days a week. Very few of her activities are pre-planned or scheduled.  Lisa has to react and respond quickly and effectively to any situation that arises throughout her day.

Lisa says: “I consider myself the luckiest person in the world.”

Her leadership role at MGH has three major components: Patient Care, Administration and Research.

During this one-hour interview with Lisa, our discussion revolved around some of the questions I’d always wanted to ask her:

On Patient Care:

  • With 3,600 deliveries a year and nearly 10 newborns a day, what is it like for Lisa to witness the births of so many new lives? How has it changed over the course of 25 years?
  • As a mother of two boys, how does Lisa feel when helping and relating to other women in the delivery room? How does she keep new moms comfortable not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally, and be there for them in a real way?
  • How does Lisa learn to connect so quickly with her patients?
  • Why does Lisa believe that patient care is just as important at the personal level as it is with the medicine?
  • What is like to experience "the vast majority of the people transform in that moment" during a child’s birth?

On Secret Origin:

  • Lisa’s Secret Origin: From Dartmouth College to Healthcare Management Consulting, to Venture Capital, to Harvard Medical School.
  • The man who influenced Lisa to become a doctor, and the woman who influenced her to consider anesthesiology.

Words of Wisdom for Pursuits in Medical Professions: What advice does Lisa have to offer people who are considering medical school or the medical field?

Passion for Faculty Development:

  • Lisa’s passion for Faculty Development and why she did it for 15 years behind the scenes before anyone noticed.
  • How does Lisa coach young doctors to help bridge the gap between medical school and a real job? (From CV, resume to supervise other people, build academic career, deal with conflicts, and why Lisa believes in mentorship and teaching young docs with this challenging transition).
  • Lisa’s POV on “Retention is Cost Effective”
  • Lisa encourages me to “Be the one to write about mentorship and to show that it works!”

On Work Life Balance: How does Lisa approach this topic and balance her life as a doctor and a parent?

On Parenthood:“Don’t worry about being perfect. Just be yourself.”

To end our podcast:

  • Lisa’s belief of “Always try to be a part of the solution, set up for the future, impact moving forward instead of being a sideline commentator.”
  • feisworld podcast - "What a gift! Instead of just doing, we are reflecting."

To learn more about Lisa Leffert, MD, please visit her bio on MGH's Official Website.

This podcast is created in memory of Lisa's father Robert D. Leffert MD. of MGH and Harvard Medical School.

 "Dr. Leffert was a spectacular physician who in his time at the MGH, became a major force in Rehabilitation Medicine and also in the management of upper extremity disorders."

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, please leave your comment below and share the podcast with your family and friends. Your support will keep me on track and bring many other unsung heroes to this podcast.

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*Special thank you to Robert Schipul for his music "Annadance" from the album Tautology. You can check out Robert's music collection here

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