Doing what you love
Jennifer Parraga, BA'93
For alumna Dr. Emily Marcotte, MD’11, ‘aha’ moment about what direction to take her medical career came just in time. It was during her training that her partner pointed out to her how happy she was at the end of the day during a rotation in paediatrics.
She wasn’t sure why it hadn’t been so clear before, as she always loved working with children and embraced the opportunity to provide care to kids of all ages.
“When I was involved in leadership activities helping other students, in a camp counsellor kind of role, it was so exciting and energizing for me,” she said. “That seems to have stayed with me, and so paediatrics was the natural thing to follow through on.”
For Dr. Marcotte, being able to treat newborn patients in one hour and adolescents the next adds to the enjoyment of the specialty.
“Kids are not just small adults, you treat them differently,” she said. “You look at them differently, and there are so many different factors that come into play when caring for them - their family dynamics, their social life, their school and so many other factors.”
Born and raised in Windsor, Dr. Marcotte completed her undergraduate studies alongside her twin sister at the University of Windsor. She then moved to London for her Doctor of Medicine degree at Schulich Medicine, followed by her residency training.
Returning to her hometown of Windsor was always part of Dr. Marcotte’s plan. Today, she divides up her time between acute care at Windsor Regional Hospital and community practice in Tecumseh.
In 2017, just shortly after establishing her practice, she joined the faculty at the School’s Windsor Campus. She started accepting students as soon as she was able to and in 2018, she became the Academic Director for the Postgraduate Paediatric Program, which adds even more variety to her work.
“The decision to get involved with teaching was an easy one,” she explained. “I’m so interested in pediatrics and I’m excited to teach others about it."
She also receives great satisfaction from working with learners and introducing them to paediatrics, particularly medical students who don’t have a lot of exposure to young children.
“I just feel very fortunate to teach," said Dr. Marcotte. "Students look at your lectures with a unique perspective, one that you might not have considered previously. I learn a lot from the students when they ask questions."
Her students are not the only ones who enable her to see the world from a different lens. The proud mom of three says she marvels at the fact that each of her children have very different personalities, and she learns from them every day.
With a busy family and professional responsibilities, she admits that maintaining balance is challenging. She’s come to realize, however, that balance is something you can only achieve with time, not something that can be achieved every day. For the physician and educator, what’s important is to be present in the moment and savour each moment fully.
“There are days where I hardly see my kids because I’m at the hospital all day,” said Dr. Marcotte. “And there are days where I have to take a break and spend the day with my family. I focus on those moments in time. When I’m with my kids, I’m with my kids and I need to be as present as possible. When I’m at work, I give myself to work.”