February 3rd is Women Physicians Day – a time to honor the incredible advancements and contributions that female physicians have made throughout our country’s history, and to recognize the Steward health care heroes who have sacrificed so much to protect our health and wellbeing.
To honor Women Physicians Day, we sat down with two Steward physicians, Dr. Darlene Go Popat and Dr. Leah Brown, to discuss their motivations, careers, and achievements.
Dr. Darlene Go Popat– Cardiologist at Melbourne Regional Medical Center
Dr. Darlene Popat, MD is a Cardiology Specialist in Melbourne, FL and has over 34 years of experience in the medical field. She graduated from Cebu Institute of Medicine in 1989. She is affiliated with Melbourne Regional Medical Center.
Q: What led you to a career in health care?
A: When I was in my first grade, my mother was sick. I knew, from that moment on, that I wanted to help people and make a difference.
Q: What motivates you each day and what are some things you love about your job?
A: In the medical field, there is always so much to learn. I enjoy preparing my charts before work begins, studying my patients’ files and their cases– it allows me to learn a lot about my patients. I also enjoy taking care of families– it can feel like a replacement for me since I cannot visit my family in the Philippines very often. I make sure to treat my patients in the same way I would like to take care of my own family.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?
A: For me, the most rewarding aspect is the day-to-day gratitude of the patients I have helped. Sometimes, patients come back to me and tell me “thank you so much,” and let me know that I helped them get through a major hump in their health. It’s a very rewarding feeling.
Dr. Leah Brown– Orthopedic Surgeon at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital
Leah Brown, M.D., is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and treatment of the knee, shoulder, and elbow. She received her Bachelor of Science in genetics from the University of Georgia, where she was a 14-time NCAA All-American, and a two-time NCAA National Gymnastics Champion and was inducted into the University of Georgia’s Circle of Honor in 2016. After completing her undergraduate work, she earned a Doctor of Medicine degree at The Ohio State University and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, followed by a Surgery internship at the Naval Medical Center San Diego.
Dr. Brown is a Diplomate with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, a Fellow with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, and a Member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in health care?
I have always had a passion for taking care of people and doing good deeds. Growing up, I was an athlete and often struggled with injuries as a result. My physicians really took care of me through those times, and I was always so gracious for them bringing me back to health. I always thought that medicine seemed like a great career.
Q: What motivates you each day and what are some things that you love about your job?
A: I love being a mentor and an example. Being a woman and a minority orthopedic surgeon, I did not have many people to look up to as a mentor. Medicine can be hard, especially in this day and age, but just knowing that I am an example for someone else– who can look at me and see that anything’s impossible– really motivates me.
Q: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
A: I really relish the fact that I was able to hang a shingle and start my own practice. I am also incredibly proud to be the team physician for the WMBA Phoenix Mercury, which is such an exciting group to be a part of.
Q: How can we continue to inspire and encourage young girls to pursue a career in medicine?
A: Women are the majority decision makers in medicine, and as female physicians, it’s important for us to lift as we climb.
To schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your heart health, visit Steward DoctorFinder™ or call 1-800-488-5959.