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Dr. Erica Howe

Dr. Erica Howe puts together a conference for women physicians in order to give them community, clarity and career development.

health innovator series: A conference for women physicians to gain community, clarity and career development: Dr. Erica Howe.
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title and specialty

Dr. Erica Howe, physician and CEO, the Women Physicians Wellness Conference (and this year…the WPW Virtual Leadership Summit).

innovation project and tagline

The Women Physicians Wellness Conference is a 3-day CME Conference is exclusively for women physicians with a focus each morning on gaining community, clarity and career development with afternoons free to rest, recharge, and reflect.  This year we’ve gone virtual with 24 women physician leaders sharing their wisdom interview-style!

problem your innovation solves

Women—and especially women physicians—are fantastic at doing everything for everyone else, except ourselves.  We often put ourselves last and we suffer because of it.  WPW is a way of bringing those women physicians together to share their struggles as well as their strategies for success in a protected time and space away from our busy daily lives.  Women are stronger together and I want to inspire them to find the courage, clarity, and community to succeed on their own terms, instead of someone else’s.

intended target audience/user of your innovation

Women physicians.

interesting experience while developing your innovation

When I first started down the path of creating WPW I remember asking myself, “Where am I going with all this?” and I honestly didn’t have an answer to that question.  This lead me to question if I should even start, given that I didn’t know where I was ultimately planning to end up with it all.  But I really felt in my soul that even if only 20 people showed up for the first WPW that it was simply something I felt I had to do.  Like I was born to do this thing and wouldn’t be fulfilling my soul’s purpose if I didn’t.  If it helped 20 women, great.  If it helped 2,000 women, also great.  The number wasn’t the goal, the message was.  That basically answered the question for me and told me I was on the right path. 

mistakes/hurdles along the way

 Plenty of mistakes, some that you could have avoided, some that are not in your control. Luckily nothing fatal, except for one time when I did a startup during the dotcom boom and bust cycle! Doing a startup is like raising a child. You need to constantly watch and course correct. It can be a lot of work, but it also gives you great satisfaction to see it grow.

typical day in your life

Every day is different!  Typically though, one of my kids wakes me up around 6am (I haven’t used an alarm clock in YEARS!) and I try to get a quick workout on the Peloton or some strength training in, followed by one of my favorite things in the whole world–a 20 oz of coffee with 2 shots of espresso. The next hour and a half is complete madness while I try to get 3 crazy kids ready and dropped off at school (they are attending in-person school currently).  After that, I spend the morning answering emails, working with my assistant editing video interviews for the WPW Virtual Leadership Summit and doing new interviews with women physician leaders.  I usually grab a quick lunch around 11am or noon (I don’t eat breakfast) but honestly, decades in clinical medicine makes it hard for me to take more than 20 minutes for a meal.  That said, before the pandemic, I loved going out to lunch with friends when we could.  Then it’s back to work with a little bit of play with our two new kittens—Ava and Maya—for a few minutes before it’s time to pick up the kids from school.  After that, all bets are off.  I’m helping with homework, trying to finish up any leftover work for the day, maybe one more interview after dinner and then put the kids to bed and it’s time to decompress with my husband and whatever Netflix we are currently binging on—currently Lucifer.

someone who inspires you

My mother passed away of breast cancer when she was just 40 years old and I often think of the life she never got a chance to live.  Her death reminds me that age is a privilege and that our time on earth certainly isn’t guaranteed so go start living a life that’s as close to your dreams as you can. 

parting words of wisdom

No one is going to give you permission to do that thing you’ve been wanting to do forever deep down in your soul.  You simply have to give yourself the permission—permission to try, to fail, to succeed, to pivot, all of it.  It’s not easy but it is simple.  Just start.
Season 2 is getting built:

Are you an innovator?

Innovator Bio

Dr. Howe is a board-certified Hospitalist and a nationally known educator, wife, and mother to three crazy kids.  As a prolific speaker and lifelong advocate for improved wellness in medicine, she has given hundreds of talks both nationally and internationally on topics like conflict management and boundary setting.  In 2018, she founded the Women Physicians Wellness Conference in Grand Cayman as a way of bringing women physicians together to share their struggles and their strategies for success.  She believes that women are stronger together and wants to inspire them to find the courage, clarity, and community to succeed on their own terms, instead of someone else’s.
health innovator series: A conference for women physicians to gain community, clarity and career development: Dr. Erica Howe.

About this series.

The Health Innovators series features physicians who think outside the box, push past healthcare “comfort zones,” and take a chance on their ideas.

The world needs more healthcare innovators.

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