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A division chief looks back at her time in pediatric endocrinology at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Reminiscing on 23 Years in Pediatric Endocrinology

Erica Eugster leads Riley Tuesday morning yoga

By: Erica Eugster, MD, professor of pediatrics

The end of June is nigh and so too the close of my 23rd year at Riley. And my goodness, so much has changed! Within 4 months of my arrival in 1997, we were down to 3 faculty members and I spent 7 months on-service that first year. Now we are about to number 16, and our inpatient time has shrunk to about 4 weeks. My former boss Rich Schreiner, MD, waxed eloquently about the plans afoot to build the ROC (Riley Outpatient Clinic), a brand new state-of-the-art 40,000 square foot outpatient center.

Since then, the construction on campus has never ceased, with one major project following another, and now the building of the Mother-Baby Hospital is upon us. Clinic was a lot more relaxed in those days and we had never heard of “metrics” or “EMR” or “RVUs”. Now we are part of the vast entity “Indiana University Health” and have experienced the protection that belonging to a mammoth healthcare system can afford during times of uncertainty such as this one.

I will never forget my interview for my faculty position at Riley because it took place on January 13th, the same date as my identical twin girls third birthday, and now they are 26. Yes, a lot has changed but much has remained unaltered. The joy of mentoring the best fellows any institution could ever hope to have. The deep satisfaction of patient care, and the warmth of ongoing relationships with families. The variegated challenges and rewards of academic work. And the genuine fondness and affection (dare I say love) for those special colleagues and staff who you know will always have your back.

Yoga crosses all boundaries in my life, from home to work, from business travel to vacation to visiting family. Beginning with that New Year’s Resolution many years ago to memorize my practice, I have carried it with me, allowing me to access at will the magic of a moving meditation that invariably brings peace and resilience, perspective and buoyancy. Facilitating this experience for others during our Riley Tuesday morning yoga class is a true gift. I am humbly grateful to my students for their trust, openness, positivity and supreme effort. I am deeply committed to continuing to offer this opportunity for wellness and stress management to my Riley family!

I’ve said many times that I could not have a better job as a pediatric endocrinologist anywhere in the country than I have at Riley Hospital for Children. It is as true today as it has ever been.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Ashley Dummer

Ashley Dummer is a Communications Specialist in the Department of Pediatrics. She has worked in Pediatrics since graduating with her degree from Indiana University.