Dr. Barb Read found another
chiropractor to substitute for
her while on maternity leave.
Juggling motherhood and a
career is tough enough, but
what if you’re a chiropractor
and need to take maternity
leave? Who cares for your
patients in your absence?
Barbara Read, D.C., Davenport
’97, who is the sole chiropractor
at her clinic, used networking
to help her out. While teaching a NUCCA elective at Palmer, she
met a doctor who wanted to learn the technique.
“I agreed to let her shadow me and hone her skills with NUCCA
in exchange for covering my maternity leave,” says Dr. Read.
Another chiropractor, Laura Avitt, D.C., Davenport ’04, was working
as an associate at the time of her pregnancy. While she stayed
home with her daughter for three-and-a-half weeks, the doctor
who owned the clinic covered for her.
“There are always patients who won’t see anybody but you,”
says Dr. Avitt. “They were aware that I was going to be off for a few
weeks once the baby was born, so some waited for my return.”
After maternity leave, both mothers took their babies to the office
with them. “I always wanted to have a practice where I could bring
my child with me,” says Dr. Read. “Since it was a new practice,
while hiring my receptionist, I explained that childcare may be in
her job description so she knew it before she took the job.”
Dr. Avitt found that her patients enjoyed being around her baby
and often offered to hold her when she got fussy. They were also
disappointed not to see her anymore after she started daycare.
“The most important thing is to communicate with your patients,”
says Dr. Avitt. “Let them know how much time you plan to take.
Keep them informed while you are on maternity leave via your
staff, blog or your website.”