In honor of Mother’s Day, we ventured to Dickson’s TriStar Horizon Medical Center to sit down with Dr. Erin Steidl, OB/GYN, who not only brings life into the world but is also mom to three girls, ages 9, 7 and 4. A native Texan, Erin completed her undergraduate in Nashville and returned to her home state for medical school and her residency. Four years later, she and her husband, Matt, decided they needed a change. In 2012, they moved to Dickson, where, as Dr. Steidl explains, she found that coveted work-life balance at a hospital that gives back to the community that she absolutely adores. Without further ado, meet this month’s FACE of TriStar, beloved OB/GYN Dr. Erin Steidl.
How did you and your family choose Dickson?
My husband and I always thought we’d move back to Tennessee. So, I was looking for jobs that would let me work a little bit less, so I could spend more time with our then two children. We had our second child at the end of my four years in Arlington, Texas. I was taking more call coverage, and I was never at home. Our kids were not too happy about that, and I was not too happy about that, so we felt we needed a life change. I started looking in Tennessee through HCA’s website, and there was an opening for a position just outside of Nashville. It was a part-time position and we already had some college friends here, so it seemed like a perfect fit. We came and interviewed, and it was wonderful. We loved the area, the small town aspect and strong community feel of Dickson, and I loved the small, more rural hospital. We moved up here in August of 2012, and for the first year, I was just taking call and taking care of patients who came in through labor and delivery and through the ER.
How has this position helped you find that work-life balance?
It’s a great work life balance, and I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of that. I’ve been able to continue to just work part-time — which is still a lot, considering it’s full-time call. It was exactly what I was looking for, so that I could spend plenty of time with my children and make sure that they were happy and then in turn, that makes me very happy. But I’m able to go to work and feel like I’m making a difference in the community. It really is the best of both worlds. It has been a gift to work at TriStar Horizon and have that because physicians wouldn’t be able to do this at just any hospital. So it’s been wonderful to have this situation here and to be able to feel good about my time at work, my time at home and like I’m doing a good job at both.
What made you want to be an OB/GYN?
I always thought I wanted to go into pediatrics and then I did my pediatrics rotation in medical school, and I didn’t like it at all. I think pediatrics was challenging because the kids, especially babies, can’t tell you how they’re feeling, and the parents are understandably frustrated and stressed because their children are sick. But I always loved my OB/GYN rotation; it was just wonderful. I loved everything about it. I loved working with female patients, and it was fun doing the procedures. There were so many different aspects of the job: you are able to deliver in labor and delivery, and then you are also performing surgeries. I really enjoy the opportunity to follow a patient at TriStar Horizon through her whole life and being able to provide care for her throughout her entire life, and I must admit I like the excitement of the deliveries and surgery.
Does that feeling of excitement of delivering a baby every get old?
Only at 3 in the morning [she laughs]. No, it’s still fun. It’s always exciting because the parents are so excited, so you feed off of that, and that’s what I think makes it so fun!
What is it like working in a smaller community?
I see my patients at the grocery store, at my kids’ school or at ball games, and they like to show off their children, which is so fun. I love that. It just adds to the sense of the community and the sense of being part of something bigger than myself. It’s fun to provide care for people I know and people who know me outside of TriStar Horizon. It’s important that women in Dickson be able to get the care that they need close to home. I feel like that makes all the difference particularly at the end of your pregnancy when you’re going every week.
TriStar Horizon Medical Center opened a NICU in October. Do you think that makes it even easier for women to make the decision to deliver their babies in Dickson?
I think women are even more comfortable delivering here knowing that if their baby were to need NICU care, their child would be able to stay in Dickson. They have peace of mind that they will be able to stay with their baby no matter what happens after the delivery.
What advice do you have for expecting mothers?
Read some, not too much. Talk to your friends. The best advice is to find friends who are a month or two ahead of you in their pregnancy, so they can give you advice because they will be the ones who remember in detail what would be the best advice for you. After six months or a year, you don’t remember anything. You have so many other things going on. Just enjoy it because you won’t be pregnant that many times in your life. As for the delivery, I’d say being educated, but not over educated, is great. So, have a general idea of what is going to happen, but knowing everything about everything can sometimes be stressful. Things don’t always happen like you expect them to happen, and it might be stressful when things don’t turn out exactly like you expect. Be able to be laid back and be able to put your trust in your doctor, and know that your doctor and your nurses are doing the best things for you, even if it’s not exactly what you expected.
Thank you, Dr. Steidl for sharing tips on being an expectant mother! To learn more about OB/GYN and Neonatal Services offered at TriStar Horizon Medical Center, visit TriStarHorizon.com.
All photography by Leila Grossman of Grannis Photography.