Making House Calls with Dr. Nicole Swiner about Life, Love, and her Superwoman Powers
Happy Saturday Luvs! Since my 35th Birthday in July I've realized that we as women have these initiate "superpowers" that allow us to wear so many diverse hats simultaneously. Whether we are friends, wives, mothers, lovers, daughters, church committee members, caretakers, career mavens, stylists, or all things in-between in no particular order we still find time to get it all done or at least attempt to. I found no matter in what role we are participating in we somehow diffuse the issues of those dear to us but at the same time we don't always make time for ourselves. I'm learning to balance my "Superwoman" powers for the good of my faith, family, community, and most importantly myself. It was after interviewing today's post, Dr. Nicole Swiner, that I was inspired to take charge of the "Superwoman" I've become. Dr. Swiner is an accomplished Family Medicine Physician, devoted wife to Entrepreneur Ric Swiner, loving mother of two fabulous girls, an award-winning published author, and annually hosts an empowering event for women called "New Year, New You." Talk about wearing many hats to say the least! We had a chance to "woman chat" at her beautiful home over delicious treats and coffees on a lovely Sunday afternoon.
So here's how it all went down......
When did the decision to become a doctor happen for you?
I can't remember the moment that it happened but I think it was a combination of nature vs. nurture. Born into a family where no one was a doctor but my mom and a couple of my aunts were the closest to being in the nursing field or worked in administration for hospitals. My mom worked for EMS, was on an ambulance at one point, and worked the front desk in registration. So I had some experiences with healthcare but ultimately I was going to be the first doctor. I think I was blessed to have a lot of folks around me to encourage me. So when I was in high school I did well in science and math so naturally the next question was do you want to be a doctor? I loved babysitting children and I thought I can go to med school to take care of children. I'm originally from South Carolina. My dentist was a Black male and his wife, a Black female, was a family doctor. So that was my first official job. I was cleaning up around the dental office, making phone calls, setting appointment reminders, and that was my first real experience with being around patients. He knew I was interested in the medical field so he would let me assist sometimes which you can't do that nowadays of course. Still, I'm not sure if it was just me truly having the desire and saying "I want to be a doctor" or if it was people around me showing me what it looks like. Whatever it was I thank God for having those people around me to help me along the way.
How long have you been a doctor?
I graduated from residency in 2007. I went to Duke University for my undergraduate degree and then went back home to South Carolina for medical school at MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina). I returned to North Carolina to do my residency at UNC-Chapel Hill in Family Medicine.
What are your thoughts about Durham?
I love Durham. I have great memories from college here and even though Charleston is great it was a clear difference of young professional Black folks making moves here. They were doing things together and having fun so I knew I would, after medical school, return to this area. Before I met my husband I was in a relationship with someone who lived here so that was a draw as well. Now I'm married, working in this area, and actually my husband is originally from D.C. I love D.C. but I don't think we would make any major moves to leave here.
What made you decide to become an author at his point in your career?
March 2015 was the launch of the first book which is How to Avoid the Superwoman Complex: 12 Ways to Balance Mind, Body, & Spirit. Since residency I've tried to promote myself as being the new doc on the block and get more patients coming in. I went to church health fairs or Durham health fairs so the more I did that I loved being out in the community. I enjoyed giving out medical information so that way people would not have to Google but actually get to talk to a real person where I can translate the information to make it more relatable. So once that was going I met a young lady that was an editor for Triangle Tribuneso I pitched myself as being her medical contributing writer. That went on weekly and sometimes bi-weekly where I was putting in some layman's terms medical information. Then my husband said I need to be on Facebook or on social media especially now that I have a business. I was reluctant at first because I didn't want people knowing our personal life but people were responding to it and now I'm addicted . Then from that a blog started. I thought this has become a business. I looked at all of this content I had written over the years and I wondered if I could use it in a broader sense to help people everywhere. Plus, make some money on the side while I'm sleep. In business you want to make money while you sleep. My husband was pushing me along even though my degrees were in medicine I needed to start thinking about business as well. So in March 2015 there was the first book and later in August 2016 came the second one called The Superwoman Complex: A Follow-Up Visit. Its about what's happened in my life and the life of other women or patients around me since December 2015. Especially with me trying to figure out this work life balance thing of being a wife, mom, and entrepreneur. So its important to take care of myself so I can take care of those around me. That's what the whole movement is all about.
So will this be a continued series?
I don't know but I definitely want to do some more writing. I am not sure yet if I'm going to write more on The Superwoman Complex I'm kind of waiting to be inspired for that. However, I am working on some other types of things and I'm going to be apart of this collaborative book coming out next year called Multiple Streams of Income the 2nd Edition. It is written by this wonderful lady by the name of Taurea Vision Avant. She's a wonderful business lady and best-selling author out of Atlanta. I met her through some other organizations and associations since writing the book. Its a collaborative book of business owners talking about their respected fields and doing multiple things hopefully while making money. I'm working on a medical doctor's collaborative book called Thinking About Quitting Medicine and it just talks about how nowadays medicine is not like it use to be. Decades ago you hang up your doctor's shingle, work 50 years, and get your gold watch to retire. Its hard with insurance companies, bureaucracy, and people are not as satisfied with the money they make not to mention school loans. This book talks about 13 of us that went to school to get our M.D. (medical degree) or Ph.D (Doctorate of Philosophy) in doing certain things but we have other passions outside of that which keeps us sane.
Dr. Swiner's first New Year, New You Conference was in 2016. The event featured guest panelist, 20 vendors, and a men's talk session about relationships. Missed last year no worries you can register at https://nyny.ticketleap.com/ for January 7, 2017.
What's next for Doc Swiner?
Next I want to help people publish their books. My experience self-publishing was not as difficult as I thought it would be and my first book I published through Amazon.com through Create Space. You can pay them to do everything from start to finish or a la carte. My husband who does graphic and web design marketing he did my book cover. We did the layout and my words were edited by my sister-in-law then we gave it to Amazon to finish without going broke while doing it. The second book we did a little more on our own. The sister-in-law did the edits, I did the layout, and my husband did the graphics but this time we went with a local printer here called International Minute Press. So we tried to keep everything in-house and local.
Dr. Nicole Swiner is a respected Family Medicine Physician and her contributions in medicine set her in a lane of her own. As she embarks on her new career of entrepreneurial goals she beams great inspiration for us to watch. Her story is one of perseverance and being the first medical doctor in her family speaks volumes of her determination. The beauty of being apart of the culture of creatives in the Triangle is we are a melting pot of diversity. Though our pathways of success may differ one thing is for sure we support one another and there is room for each of us. We wish continued success to Dr. Nicole Swiner and her family on her future endeavors.
Until next time ladies and gentleman this is The Lux Blog. - K. Knight