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Robert E Cook Honors College Women In Medicine
Date:7/16/2008

, expects even more challenges to that balancing act when she gives birth to her first child in May. "Besides patients commonly thinking I am their nurse instead of their doctor, I think women are very well respected in medicine," Ruggeri said. "The biggest hardship is personal, establishing priorities and balancing responsibilities. It was hard to fight the maternal instinct while pulling 36-hour shifts and having medicine constantly on the mind."

A physician in family medicine at Parkland Family Health Center in Allentown, Nicole Sully found the payoff for her many years dedicated to pursuing a career to become a doctor is the trust gained from patients. "Becoming a physician requires a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication," said Sully, 29, a 2000 IUP graduate and native of Homer City, PA. "Now that I have completed my residency though, I can honestly say that my job is very rewarding. It is an awesome feeling when you know your patients trust you and depend on you for their healthcare needs."

A career in family medicine provides an ideal situation to balance family and career for Sully. She has a 10-year-old step son, Nicholas, and her husband, Ernest, is an Emergency Medicine physician at Lehigh Valley Hospital. "Family medicine is an ideal medical specialty for females because it affords the flexibility to allow a physician to work as well as raise a family," Sully explained. "Of course, it is always a challenge to balance work and family life. However, this task is quite attainable particularly in family medicine. The path is well paved for women in medicine, and I would strongly encourage anyone with an aspiration to practice medicine to strive to attain this goal."

A family medicine practice is a setting that allows Sully to really know her patients and often serve entire families.

"The thing I like most about my work is getting to know my patients
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