February 14, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Pediatrics Physician Leadership Surgical Critical Care (Surgery)
||Shannon Udovic-Constant, M.D., and James Constant, M.D.
On this Valentine’s Day, the California Medical Association (CMA) thought there no better time to highlight one of our outstanding physician couples, Shannon Udovic-Constant, M.D., and James Constant, M.D., mastering the difficult task of balancing their demanding work schedules and busy personal life.
The couple first met while Shannon was on her medical school rotation at UCSF where James was a resident. Now years later, they still live and work in San Francisco, and have two children together, an 11-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son.
James and Shannon both agreed that the challenges in their family are mostly the same as any family where both parents work. However, one specific difference they noted was that they have to take turns working on weekends and holidays, plus the additional night calls that James takes. “We have a shared iCloud calendar where everything gets entered in order to coordinate our schedules,” they said.
Although balancing their work schedules can be a bit of a chore, they say there are major benefits to being in a dual-doctor relationship. “One major plus is that we both have work that is meaningful to us that we are excited to continue to do each day. We also each have had new opportunities in our work lives that keep our work engaging,” said Shannon.
James and Shannon both work for The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) in San Francisco—James serving as Assistant Physician-in-Chief working on surgical quality and finance, and Shannon as a pediatrician and a member of the TPMG Board. Shannon also serves on the CMA Executive Committee as Vice Chair of the CMA Board of Trustees.
In another universe if James and Shannon were not physicians, James said he would like to fly jets or race cars (though he’d have to cure his motion sickness first). Shannon on the other hand has always wanted to be a dancer on Broadway, but would settle for becoming a Zumba instructor.
Setting a great example for other physician couples, James and Shannon have spilled the key to a work-life balance in their relationship:
“....making time for our self, each other, and our family. If you spend everything on work there is nothing left to give to yourself and the meaningful relationships that are truly the most important thing for lifelong happiness.”