Hello. There is nothing easy about entering today’s crowded marketplace – no matter what products or services you offer. Lauren Umstattd, MD joins us today to discuss her unique perspective on building-out a large practice from scratch. Enjoy this interview with Dr. Lauren Umstattd.
So how does a facial plastic surgeon, fresh out of fellowship, set up shop and build a thriving, profitable “100% cosmetic”practice in an uber competitive industry?
This Saturday’s video is an interview I did with Lauren Umstattd, MD. She knew she wanted to run her own practice and looked into buying other practices, but that didn’t feel right to her.
So, she took a HUGE leap and decided to build-out her own 5K+ square foot facility from scratch.
Here are some of the topics we discussed:
Dr. Umstattd has a unique perspective, a growth mindset, and a ton of courage that I admire and find inspiring.
👁 DON’T MISS THESE INTERVIEWS 👁
Fellowship To New Practice Build-Out – Interview with Lauren Umstattd, MD (Ep.141)
Catherine Maley, MBA: Hello, and welcome to beauty in the biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery. I’m your host, Catherine Maley author of Your aesthetic practice, what your patients are saying as well as consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients and more profits. Now I’m very excited about today’s guest.
Her name is Dr. Lauren Umstattd. And she’s a facial plastic surgeon who grew up in Kansas City then completed a majority of her training at the University of Missouri where she graduated with honors and while competing as a division I gymnast, which we’ll talk more about. She also did a fellowship with renowned facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Phillip Langsdon in Tennessee. And he’s actually the past president of AAFPRS. And then she returned to the Midwest, Kansas, where she’s in the process of building out her own new practice from scratch. And of course, we’ll talk more about that. And from what I can tell on her Instagram, Dr. Olmsted is also a wife and mother of two.
And we’ll talk more about that, dear Lord. So, Dr. Umstattd, it’s a pleasure to have you on Beauty and the Biz, and I really appreciate you.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: Thank you so much. I’m a huge fan of your podcast and your YouTube channel. And so, I’m so excited to talk to you today.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Thanks so much. So, we always start with, how did you become a facial plastic surgeon?
What, where, what was your journey? Did you come from that family? What’s that.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: So, I always had an early interest in pursuing medicine. My mom is actually a drug rep or pharmaceutical representative for a drug company and like take your child to work day. I would, you know, go with her and watch the whole process.
And I didn’t love like what she did, but I thought. Oh, well, what the doctors do is interesting. So, in middle school, I asked to shadow our family physician for a day on one of the, take your child to work days. And I loved it. I loved like the pace of the day, the challenges that he saw every day, like the.
The wide variety of patients that he would see. And he also is part of a part of a private practice. So, seeing him run a practice was a little bit interesting to me. So, I’d say early on, I decided I wanted to be a physician. Obviously, that was a little bit challenging while being a competitive gymnast, but eventually got into medical school.
And then I really think I heard a mentor once say like picking your specialty is so serendipitous, right? Because you don’t get. Really equal exposure or equal mentorship and a lot of the different fields that are opportunities. So, I think it really boils down to in medical school kind of what you were exposed to and who you were exposed to in those fields.
And so, I decided to pursue ENT. I loved head and neck anatomy. Again, the complexity, it was a little bit different every day. My biggest fear when I was younger, it was like to be bored. Like I never wanted to be bored during a day. So, I thought, well, EMT has plenty of complex patients, plenty of complex, different operative techniques.
Whether it’s under the microscope with the endoscope open surgery, cancer surgery, pediatric surgery, you know, and then during residency, I really fell in love with the cosmetic procedures that we did and those patients. And so, it just made sense for me to do a fellowship in facial plastics. And here we are.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, this is the, the interesting part that I find after you’re done with fellowship. And now you’re out, you’re supposed to go out into the world and make your impact and, and, and make your, your spot in the industry. How in the world do you do that? So, most of the surgeons go into the hospitals and work there for a long time or a little time.
So, what’s your plan because I know you’re building. Gorgeous building in Kansas. How you’re going straight into private practice or what are you doing?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: Yeah, I, and I will say the building construction is a little bit delayed. COVID obviously has posed a lot of challenges worldwide for every industry, particularly construction in terms of.
Acquiring materials and getting labor secured for those materials. So, we thought we were going to be open in December. It’s now early February, but we’re getting really close. They’re actually going to start painting my sheet rock this week, so, and potentially start putting in some flooring. So, we’re like, we’re like really close.
I think, yeah, a lot of my friends are like, what the heck are you doing? Just going straight into private practice. But I think I’ve always had a tendency to want to be my own boss. I’m in medical school and residency. I got a really good taste of organized medicine, both through the AMA, like the American medical association and my state organization as well.
And I saw like how many decisions were made about healthcare, not by the folks who actually practice healthcare, whether it’s nurses, RTS physicians, you know, a lot of our healthcare. Industry is dictated by politicians and hospitals and executives. That really don’t have an intimate understanding of how those decisions kind of play out in real patient care.
And so, I always thought to myself, like, I just want to do my own thing. I want to be my own boss. I want to see patients like my way. I really didn’t want anybody telling me what to do. And so, I think fortunately, I fell in love with the field of facial plastics that lends itself to being able to make that happen.
Because if I were reliant on insurance reimbursement, there’s no way I could go out solo on my own and, and, you know, make ends meet.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, are you going to be a strictly cosmetic practice?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: Yes.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Good for you.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: So, I won’t, I won’t take any insurance. Again, I think my love for the field, like I, I love the cosmetic stuff and from a monetary and investment standpoint, you know, it’s actually cheaper to create a building.
That’s not CMS compliant when you don’t have to follow Medicare and Medicare, Medicare, and Medicaid guidelines. You know, the EMR I chose. It’s not, it’s basically what I charge. I don’t have to like document level two or level three visits. It simplifies a lot of things, both logistically and investment wise.
When you don’t accept insurance off the bat,
Catherine Maley, MBA: will you be doing surgery in your new building?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: Yes. So, the building is about 5,000 square…just under 5,000 square feet. And it took quite a while to design it, but it’s basically two entities. I have my clinic. With four exam rooms, you know, a lobby photo room, my office coordinator office the staff work areas and lounge.
And then I have a full ambulatory surgery center with a single operating room with a pre-op post-op. You know, a soiled and clean room a med gas room, like the whole kitten caboodle and in the state of Kansas if you have an independent ASC, it has to be licensed by the state. So, it will be licensed by the state.
And then I’ll also be accredited by the aquatics.
Catherine Maley, MBA: How big of a deal has this project then, because I get calls quite a bit about surgeons who, especially with COVID and they’re, they’ve gotten kicked out of the hospitals, you know, and they have nowhere to go and everyone wants to control their own life and their own schedule.
So, they’re trying, they’re going to build theirs out and they don’t even know where to start. Like how how’s it been,
Lauren Umstattd, MD: you know, fellowship. Like time-wise fellowship was a great opportunity to start this whole thing, because it’s more of a country club lifestyle than residency. You know, you work more of like a nine to five.
And then these last few months, you know, I’m not working in the traditional sense, but I’m basically getting everything ready for my office to open. So, opening an ASC on your own. Like, I don’t have a consultant, but I basically just read all this stuff myself. I’m in direct contact with the state. If I have any questions about.
You know, they approved all my plans. Like when we started, they have inspected it at 50% completion and they’ll expect, inspect it again at a hundred percent completion. So, I’ve been in direct contact with the bodies that are helping me from a regulatory standpoint. It’s I don’t think it’s innately difficult.
It’s time-consuming yes, but. The information is all there. And the governing bodies, whether it’s your state or a third party, like they’re willing to help you, you just have to ask questions and do your homework.
Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s fantastic. What is the ETA? That the real one,
Lauren Umstattd, MD: I don’t exactly know. Probably in about two months as what we’re thinking and that, you know, I will say I’ve learned a lot in terms of construction.
Not only is it the actual, like bringing the building up off the ground and putting it all together, but it’s also the city, right? They have to come out and inspect almost every week. So. An example of firewall has to be built between my ASC and my clinic. Right. So that God forbid there’s ever a fire, then it takes a long to burn through.
Well, that firewall is basically like a sandwich there’s sheet rock, and then another layer and another layer, another layer. So, the city has to come out and inspect every layer before the next layer is put on. And so. That’s another limiting factor and another time kind of piece of the puzzle. So, we’re thinking two months, but it depends on the subcontractors.
It depends on the city, you know?
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, how did you choose a location itself? I know you’re from Kansas, but how did you choose.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: So, I, so Kansas city lies right on the Missouri Kansas line. And I grew up in Kansas city, Missouri, which makes no difference. But and my husband is from just south of here.
And so, we always knew we wanted to be close to family. Especially once we started having children, there was really no other where like no other place in the United States we wanted to be. And so, I know that some surgeons will like. Do a feasibility study and try to, you know, do their market research.
And for me, like, I, like I wanted to be in Kansas city, like the greater Kansas city area. And then I said, you know, we’ll just figure out where I want to be in Kansas study. And then I’m going to be there for 30 plus years. So, we’ll make it work, you know, kind of you build it and.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay. Is it a new development that you’re in?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: It is we started looking for land when I was finishing my fourth year of residency and we were pretty close. We were in Columbia, which is only two hours away. We just went out one day with a commercial realtor and we’re looking at pieces. We looked at both Build outs that were already existing and then just land.
And we were presented luckily with a good opportunity with a piece of land, right on a main drag. And it was about the right size for the building that I needed. It just all kind of worked out. We, we chose the Southern part of Kansas city just based on medium home value. So, it is a bit more a fluent area compared to some parts of the.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, you went with like 5,000 square feet. So, I’m assuming you’re planning to scale this thing eventually, but to get started, what’s your game plan? Like it’s very, you’re also very young and, you know, like, and I’m older, let’s just be Frank here. It’s very difficult to offer a facelift to. 60-year-old talking to somebody like you, who’s so young.
Are you, are you hesitant about that or have you like, what’s your game plan of your target market? You know, and are you going to go with injectables first and laser are going to buy a bunch of lasers and then move into a blend? Or how do you have a plan for.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: I definitely have a plan. I’ve been thinking about it for about a year and I’ve listened to a lot of educational content out there.
Medical and nonmedical. And I think right now in the world, we live in with social media and the ability to put yourself out there and let people get to know you before they come in. My patients will self-select. So, anybody that’s nervous about my age, my relative, and experience me being a female.
They’re not even going to reach out to me, which is fine because it saves us both the time and money. You know, I think while I am young and relatively inexperienced as compared to some of the folks in my community, I also think there’s a big benefit to being fresh right out of training. You know, I’ve basically spent the last six years reading papers, getting board certified, like.
I’m all there, you know, whereas someone who’s in their seventies, you know, might not be as on top of the most recent literature and techniques. And so, I think patients will self-select While I will offer injectables, you know, neurotoxins fillers, and then do some skincare stuff. That’s not what I’m going to lead with.
You know, I’m a surgeon, I love operating. I’ve put in the investment to build out an ASC and that’s where I want to spend a lot of my time and energy. So, in terms of marketing, I’m really not going to market a lot of filler and neurotoxin. And that’s intentional. I know that those patients There’s different age demographics.
Right? So, a lot of my good girlfriends who are in their thirties, they will come in and get all the non-invasive stuff. And I love that, but I think in really an interest. And in terms of covering my cost surgery is where I need to spend my time in terms of mark, for sure.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, you’ve got, you know, you’ve got to decide who your support team is going to be.
Is your thought to have kind of like a med spa on the side as our, as a profit center while you’re building your surgical practice or no, just for now, it’s just you and surgery.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: So, I think right now, Come to the realization that it’s difficult to predict the future. I have built my building not for tomorrow, but I built my building for five to 10 years out.
You know, it’s bigger than I need at first, but I want to grow into it. And I think the opportunities to grow and expand will come somewhat organically. I’m open to having other physicians operate at my surgery center. I’m open to having mid-level providers help me. Fillers and toxins, I’m opening to ha I’m open to having an aesthetician take one of my exam rooms full times.
I I’ve told myself that I can’t force that it has to be. I think it’s going to be the right person the right time, that will just kind of appear. And that might be like a naive utopian view of how things are going to play out. But just like the building and me recognizing that I have no control over when it’s going to be done.
I have to recognize that the people that will join me in the future, I have really no control over that. I just have to assess them individually as they come to me. And I’ve been super lucky so far. I have not put out an ad for employees, but I already have my nurse. I have my patient coordinator and I have an anesthesiologist.
That’s going to be a 10 99 with. I was kidding. And those are people that I’ve known and that are interested in working for me. So, I’ve been very fortunate and I, I just kind of assume that if I am myself and grow a great practice, that people want to be a part of both from a patient and employee standpoint, then it, it, it will grow organically.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yes. And you’re absolutely right. Although in today’s world, in the old days, which I have found, I’m saying that more often now it used to take about 10 years to grow a nice practice. And now you’ve got about 10 months and it’s just not normally done like that, but there are shortcuts to scaling. I will just say one thing, if you were to bring on some nonsurgical service providers, such as an injector, I would just make sure.
They don’t have the drive you have there. They just want a nice, safe, stable place to hang out and they bring a nice Rolodex with them, you know? And that would help shortcut it. That would be my 2 cents on that. Are you going to be buying the lasers or hopefully you’re going to hold off on that or just be very selective with what you choose?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: I am not buying a laser to start. I think that might be a birthday present salt to my practice. You know, maybe it, my two-year birthday or something, I don’t know. But again, I can’t predict the finances. I have an understanding of what it’s going to take to get going, and that it’s going to be a little rough for a while.
You know, I’m not going to pay myself for a while. I don’t know how long, but I think. Again, you can’t, you can’t know everything right now. I don’t have a crystal ball or a magic eight ball, so I’m just going to invest in a laser when I can. And until then, I’ll just refer people down the street because there are lasers everywhere.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Right? Just give me one big mistake that you’ve made so far. Let’s say in the building of the practice, you know, in the building of the bill of the building, just to help somebody else, like what’s one big mistake that you wish you could have skipped.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: Well, haven’t been. Okay. One big mistake. I ordered. So, for exam chairs and for matching stools from a Chinese website and I.
Got notification. I ordered them last summer. And I knew it was going to take several months with the shipping and freight industry. And so, you know, I was in detailed contact with the rep. I chose my fabric. I was going to save about 10 grand by ordering directly from this Chinese distributor. And I got confirmation that things had been delivered.
And I was like, what? I never received it. Because I have a lot of things stored right now, obviously until my building’s ready to accept all the furniture and equipment that I have. And so, I was like, oh my gosh, I have been scammed. They stole my money. I’ve been scammed. I was so dumb. You know, why did I think that I could just, you know, take a shortcut, save 10 grand.
So, I filed a complaint with the website and said, you know, I’m, I’d like my money back. They keep sending me fake ups, tracking slips and yada, yada, yada. So, then I get in contact with an American company and I say, I need, at least I, cause I have four exam rooms. So, I said, well, at least need two exam chairs and some stools.
So, can I. To exam chairs and tools. And I, I would like it within the next month. Yeah. Yeah. So, then I get those, well, then I’m out at my construction site one day and they have really no materials. They have like a locked, you know, office. And I was wandering around in there trying to find my contractor and I saw this box and I was like; how do I name.
And I was like, eat Ethan’s my contractor. I was like, what, what does this box right here? He was like, oh, I don’t know. It’s some stool or something that it had a bunch of Chinese print on it. And so long story short, I had received the stuff from China. I just didn’t realize it. And so, I had spent an extra seven grand, which again, it hurts right now and I’m super early.
If you look at the marathon view, 10 years out, you know, $7,000 is not going to make or break me. It was just probably a good learning opportunity for me. And that
Catherine Maley, MBA: always is there. You know, it just is there will be more for sure. But good attitude. What are these, your husband fit into all of this?
I’m seeing him on Instagram. And is he helping you build this or what’s.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: He is my number one cheerleader. So, and not in like, I mean way, cause I feel like cheerleader is synonymous with female, but so him and his family have been a part of the restaurant world for several decades, generation wise. And so, they are very Astute with investments, whether it be business real estate, growing, scaling, taking risks.
And so, I think at an early point, you know, third or fourth year of residency, my husband saw that I had an interest in this. And so, he kind of fed that interest. And so, he’s been a really, really positive influence in terms of my decision to do this. He helps me brainstorm about marketing. He obviously is a great, co-parent like, there’s no way I could have had two children already without him.
Yeah, he’s just the best he helps and way he’s not like he’s not going to like work for me or anything, but he, we talk a lot about the business at nights and on weekends when he’s able to.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, how ho how helpful that his family came from, for sure. Construction and business and marketing and how you do it.
I mean, that’s a great shortcut for you. So, congratulations
Lauren Umstattd, MD: and it’s interesting, you know, I didn’t tell you early on, but I looked at trying to buy a practice here in the Kansas city area before I started building and in their world. Buying a restaurant is very straightforward, right? It’s so many times earnings.
And so, it was a little bit difficult for them to wrap their head around this like very arbitrary number that some of these surgeons put on their practices, especially when they don’t own the real estate. It’s like, what are you actually buying some old equipment and a few, like a handful of patients realistically.
And so, there was one gentleman that I talked to pretty in detail for a few months, years, several years ago now about buying his practice. And it just didn’t make sense. And so, we, we passed on that opportunity and that’s when we decided to just go off.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I’ve done a lot of work on that. The exit strategy of a plastic surgeon, you know, w when you’re done and working your butt off for 30 years how do you walk away profitably?
And frankly that whole world has changed so much. You can’t count on Goodwill anymore. You can’t count on that patient wanting to come back to another surgeon for surgery after, you know, several years. That’s a tough one. So, I’ll tell you what the secret is. The secret it’s to build a non-surgical side of your practice when the timing is right.
That is a sellable, predictable revenue stream. The surgical side is not. So just throwing that out there.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: Yeah. And, and to add to that, you know, like you asked me early on, how are you going to market yourself as like a young, you know, surgeon and realistically, I think a lot of people need to recognize.
Obviously, the patient goes to the surgeon, not to the practice. And so, if an older male is retiring, the chances that their patients are going to want a young female, you know, I don’t need the same cookie cutter. So, it just, it just made more sense for me to just start with. I,
Catherine Maley, MBA: I agree. So competitively, what’s your scenario like over there in Kansas?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: You know, it’s interesting. I do you listen to Gary Vaynerchuk? Yes. The whole world does, don’t they? Yes. Okay. So, he’s one of my favorite people to listen, to learn from and know inspiration from. And so, I don’t really care about the like, The market around town. I I’ve been fortunate to meet several other surgeons in town.
Like we actually have like a little couple’s date planned for two weekends from now a facial plastic surgeon and a plastic surgeon. They. Just reached out to me and said, Hey, let’s get together. And so, I met them, they showed me their office and they want to kind of have like informal journal clubs in the future.
And so, it’s so far, it’s been very warm and inviting. I didn’t, there’s several other people in the area and I might reach out to them just from a friendly standpoint just to say, Hey, but I didn’t really want. A lot of thought into like what they’re doing. And because I think a lot of a lot of plastic surgeons really aren’t good marketers when you compare to other industries.
And so, for me, I’m not competing against them. I’m competing against the companies that are out there that are great at marketing, like Lulu lemon and apple. And like, I try to draw inspiration from things that are non-metal. For sure.
Catherine Maley, MBA: The demographics that you’re going to go for, is there a plan for that?
Like I would assume rhinoplasty is right up there for you. A lot of the plastic surgeons don’t want to do rhino, so, you know, perhaps, I mean, what is your marketing plan? Have you put that together?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: Yeah, I think for me, marketing is 99.9% social media. The reason is because I’m able to put myself out there.
People can get a realistic view of who I am, what I am, what my philosophy is, my approach to things. And it’s basically free besides your time. You know, I was kind of an earlier creator on Tik TOK and I have grown a large community on there. And I get, even though my office isn’t open, I probably. Two to five inquiries on my website a week that come from Tik TOK.
And it’s interesting. It’s the fastest growing age group on tech talk right now is 35-to-45-year-olds. But I will say the large majority of people that reach out on my website are younger females interested in rhinoplasty or buccal fat removal, chin implant, and X sculpting, you know, not traditionally aging face, but just kind of tweaks here.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah. Tic-tac I’m a little torn on tech tech. They go after my 16-year-old. No, she’s 15, my 15-year-old niece, man, you know, they’re showing her breast dogs and BBLs, and I’m not loving that idea. I’m not loving that, that they’re even allowed to. You know, market to such a young girl. But that’s beside the point rhinoplasty and tic-tac really go hand in hand for sure.
I would really you being a female surgeon, I would, you know, make a big deal out of that. You know, a lot of women like to go to women it’s just it’s comfortable for them. So, I like that idea. And I would think that would be one of your big differentiators. Are there any other female facial plastic surgeons in your area?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: There is one other I’ve I recently reached out to her. I haven’t heard back, but yeah, there’s one other female facial plastic surgeon. I will say though, tick-tock it’s interesting, like in the words of Gary V do not be your own judge of your content, right? But everything out there, kind of put a little of this, put a little of that and see what does well, so the things that do well, and of course, I always sprinkle in the educational content.
So, I have little blurbs about what is a brow lift? What are the incision options? What is a lower blast? When would you get filler to the tear trough versus lower bleph surgery? But I also sprinkle in moms. I’m a feminist and I’m very unapologetic about some of my female views and training as a female in the world of surgery.
And so, I would say my spicy videos usually do well. The ones where I kind of come out unapologetically and talk about things in a very real sense. Whereas, so my educational stuff is less interactive. But that’s even if a video only gets 200 views, you know, the educational stuff is where my potential patients come from.
So, it doesn’t really matter how many people see it or view it or like it it’s. How does that translate into getting a potential?
Catherine Maley, MBA: For sure. And are you collecting, I know you said that they’re writing to you on your landing page. I highly urge your website. I highly recommend you or at least getting from them, their name, email, and cell phone.
Just in case, you know, Instagram or Tech-Talk shut you down or you just never know, you know, so
Lauren Umstattd, MD: yeah. And I emailed them right back and I say, Hey, thanks for reaching out. You know, the office isn’t quite done yet. I have a waiting list that I put them on. And so, I do get their email and phone number and.
I let them know that we’ll reach out once we start accepting appointments.
Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s all right. That’s terrific. I want to talk about mindset with you because you it’s very unusual to have the courage to go straight out there into the world. Very unusual. Where is that coming from?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: I don’t know how to say this without sounding like not humble and I’m pretty humble, but like I’ve never really failed at anything before.
Really. I only 33. So, I have, I’ve got a lot to fail at in the future, but, you know, I was a competitive gymnast. Like it takes a lot of guts to get out there and compete so low. Some of the difficult tricks. Gymnast do you know, I got into medical school, I had a baby during residency. Like I’ve done a lot of things that are hard.
And so, for me, the hardest things have provided me the most gratitude in my life. And so, this is just an extension of that, you know, like obviously this is going to be a difficult. Next few years or next 20 years next 30 years. Like nobody really knows what it’s like to own your own practice until you do.
Maybe I’ll hate it. I hope I don’t, but yeah, the gods, I don’t, I don’t know. I just, this is what I want to do, so.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, that’s fantastic. Where, how did you decide to have two kids in the middle of all this as well? And that’s a lot, you’re doing a lot. Like you left fellowship in Tennessee, you came back to Kansas.
I assume you had to buy a house or live somewhere. Then you have the. Then you have the practice.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: This summer was busy. I had our second child. We bought an older home. It’s like the height of the housing market. So, and then we redid our entire home besides the master. So, I oversaw all that. We had general contractor, but I led that.
So even though. I haven’t, again, I haven’t been working in the traditional sense. Our life has been very busy and I’ve, I’ve been so fortunate to spend more time with our second son as an infant. Because I missed a lot of that in residency. Like. This is bad to say, but I don’t even remember like the first few months of my first son’s life, because I was so busy in residency, it was like survival mode.
And I don’t know how my husband did it all. He’s such an amazing partner, but to answer your question about having kids, you know, I tell pre-meds and medical students all the time, there is no good time to have a kid. Right. Everybody knows that. And I think students. And residents try to plan like having, oh, I’m going to have it, like my research here, have it this time.
Okay. That’s not how it works. You don’t like press a button and say, I’m going to get pregnant tonight. So, I think you and your spouse or whoever you’re having a kid with you, like have to decide when you’re ready to become a parent and then just go because and then just figure everything out.
Essentially after that, I think You know, I have a little bit of regret and residency, not being more intentional with my program director and some of our conversations regarding my maternity leave. But things have since changed I a year before I graduated, I approached him and said the maternity leave policy here is needing some improvement and I provided him some.
Recommendations by the AC GME and what other programs were doing across the country. And so, he let me rewrite the maternity leave policy and then he made some tweaks and adopted it. And I also said, you know, we need a breastfeeding policy because. I was. So, since we didn’t even have one, I was so nervous to ask as a fourth- and fifth-year resident to scrub out of cases to go pump.
Like, and I felt like just having a policy on the books would allow future females to be more open to the idea in terms of planning once they come back. And, and so he said, yeah, write the policy and. I’ll put it in the handbook. So, I think women just have to be intentional, not only about when they start having kids, but then also how it works into things after you have them.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, okay. Regarding the gymnast thing was that that had to have taught you discipline. What was that posing about? Was that had you done that all your life and, and did you get any really good lessons out of that?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: Oh, yeah. I think sports or really any organized activity is so important for children beyond just school.
So, I, yeah, I was a gymnast forever since I was like five. I started training 20 hours a week in the gym, starting in sixth grade. It definitely gave me a sense of discipline, but also the sense of delayed gratification working towards a goal. Failure taking risks, you know, it’s, it’s hard to put into words how gymnastics helped me become a physician and a surgeon, because it’s just like innate to who I am.
Yeah, there’s just so many things I can’t even, it’s just, I became who I am because I was a gymnast at a very early age and into college. So, it was basically my identity for a year.
Catherine Maley, MBA: But isn’t that interesting. All of those lessons you learned that early on in the gymnast arena completely come over to any other arena you went to gosh, good training, you know, training, body training.
Do you still work out now or are those days are over now?
Lauren Umstattd, MD: I do. I enjoy exercising, obviously, the. Childbearing his you know, your body’s just different after you have kids. So, I, I don’t do gymnastics anymore. That’s a question I get, there’s no way it’s too dangerous. I don’t have those muscle groups or muscle memory anymore, but yeah, I enjoy yoga and walking, jogging that kind of.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay. And what are you doing? I love talking about mindset. Like how you think the way you think. I I’m assuming your parents were very instrumental in that somewhere along the line and the gym, the gymnast thing I’m sure was huge. But is there anything in particular, any one person, any mentor, any books, any conferences, like how are you thinking the way you are?
Because you’re definitely thinking differently and you’re thinking big.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: I would say one of the best books I’ve read in the last five years to start with why by Simon Sinek, he has a famous Ted talk and I would encourage everybody to read his book. I think it just makes you look at. How like what your next step is and being very intentional about that?
I would say, so I forget the number, but on the anagram personality type, you know, I’m a perfectionist and I’m a challenger. I think that my involvement with organized medicine early on really taught me how to question the status quo. Constantly be looking for ways to improve not just to follow suit with those that are in front of you or next to you, but really again, back to why, you know, why are we even doing this?
There’s got to be a better way to go about it. So, I don’t know if there’s any one other thing in particular that I would attribute that to. Yeah, my parents are wonderful. I’m very fortunate to have them in mind.
Catherine Maley, MBA: The last be thrilled to have you back in town, huh? With the grandkids.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: Oh yeah. Well, you know, it’s all about the grandkids now, so, which is great.
It’s very fun to see them as grandparents
Catherine Maley, MBA: for sure. Well, thank you so much for being on beauty and the biz. I will be watching your career. I can’t wait to see your building and I bet you can’t wait till it opens up. But and I’ll watch you on Instagram as well, but thank you so much for your time. We really.
Lauren Umstattd, MD: Okay, thanks so much. Have a good one.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Absolutely. And that’ll wrap up this episode of beauty in the biz, if you would be so kind as to subscribe and give us a good review at beauty, the visit be super helpful. And then if you’ve got any feedback for me or questions, just go ahead and leave them on my website www.CatherineMaley.com or you can always DM me on Instagram at Catherine, mainly MBA.
Thanks so much. Talk to you again.
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