On episode #5 of the 2B Bolder podcast, guest Dr. Nancy Salisbury opens up about why she became a doctor and started a successful practice that focuses on helping women with their health and wellness, providing comprehensive gynecology services that include state of the art vaginal rejuvenation. Dr. N shares the challenges she's faced in her career and talks about words of encouragement she's received and provides insights and advice to others thinking of becoming a doctor.
The 2B Bolder Podcast provides you first-hand access to some amazing women. Guests will include women from leading enterprise companies to startups, women execs, to coders, account execs, engineers, surgeons, doctors, and innovators.
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Learn more about Dr. N at www.drngyn.com
Hi there. My name is Mary Kill Olia. Welcome to the to be bolder podcast. Providing career insights for the next generation of women in business in Texas. To be bolder was created out of my love for technology and marketing. My desire to bring together Lifeline is women and my hope to be a great role model in source of inspiration for my two girls and other young women like you, encouraging you guys to show up to be bolder and to know that anything you guys dream of, it's totally possible on to be bolder. You're gonna hear inspiring stories of how successful women some I know, some I just want to bring to you guys and they're gonna talk about their careers in business and tech, and they're gonna tell us their stories about their passion in their journey and they're challenges. And we're gonna learn some of their advice along the way, too. So sit back, relax and enjoy the conversation. My guest today is Dr Nancy Salisbury. Nancy is a very caring and brilliant woman who is often referred to as Dr N. She is a board certified gynecologist who has been in practice since 1987. Doctor in is a surgeon skilled in minimally invasive procedures and vaginal surgery often referred to many in her field as the vagina expert. Her special interest in female sexuality and interpersonal development make her a leader. And female care service is. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with her professionally as well as being one of her patients. Doctor in has many great qualities and skills. But the one thing that makes her exceptional in my eyes is her genuine, caring and nurturing spirit that she shares with each of her patients. Nancy, it is so wonderful to have you on the show. Thank you for joining me.
Great to be here, Mary. Thanks for inviting me.
All right, So I'm super anxious for everyone to learn about your work. Can you tell us what you do and how you got started?
I am a doctor on my specialty. Think I ecology and I have a private practice. And like a legal Oregon where myself and another associate take care of patients, we also do surgery for women, and I'm board certified in my field of both obstetrics and gynecology.
And how did you get started? I mean, like when you were in high school, did you always dream and know that you were going to be a doctor? Or was it something that, like in college, how did you get started to go down this path?
Well, I tell you, I, um I often ponder that question because it's been such a great career trajectory for me and ah, in our family. Anyway, there was There were no physicians. They didn't have any doctors in my family where I said, I want to do that. So, um, to my mother's credit, she exposed us to a lot of different things. She exposed to music, too, to dance to sports. And she put she exposed me to a volunteer position at a hospital. Um, in high school, I was a volunteer, and most of the girls in that, you know, we were candy stripers back then. We're all women. Most of the young women that were candy stripers went on a nursing school, and I remember when I was working in the hospital as a candy striper, I looked at all the positions. I love doing it. I did it every Friday night and I ignited something in me that nothing else ever had. And yet when I looked at the difference between what the nurses did, the pharmacist of the doctors, I told my mother, I should I want to be a doctor and that's where it all started.
That's fantastic. And I know I know you've been a role model, obviously, to your your daughter as well. So tell me about the women who come to your practice. What kind of service is are they looking for?
I think in healthcare Women in general, we start. You know, young women start with usually family planning or contraceptive service's, but just general wellness exams of just saying I wantto stay healthy, be healthy and have, ah, strong body mind and spirit. And they come to us to try to get help, mostly with their health on, and usually starts somewhere around teams to 20 and we take care of women through all seasons of life. I do not do metrics, but I used to. So we take care of women all the way into their late eighties and nineties.
How did you hone in on this specialty?
TBD? Uh O B G Y n dr Obstetrics and gynecology is sort of comprehensively take care of women. Um, through childbirth and all health and surgical specialties and going through med school, I think one of the most daunting decisions you make and the young doctor is what am I gonna do?
kind of doctor am I gonna be? And, uh, in medical school, I really didn't know what I wanted to do, but, ah, I know once I did surgery of in medical school and I was gifted in surgery that I said, I want to be a surgeon and as a side bar when I have tried to be in the orthopedic surgeon, I remember asking him if I could do that back when I did in the eighties, they said I was too small to petite, too feminine to be an orthopedic surgeon. So on and women weren't going under general surgery much so it's really the main surgical field. I could go into it the time that I was being educated. In hindsight, it was a privilege because after I saw the birth of the first baby, I went, That's something I want to do. So the beauty of birth, the combination of surgery and, um, being able to in power and take good care of women. I also had a formative experience of the patient. I remember the 16 year old I had a physical exam, one done by a gentleman. You know, much my father's age, and he probably had a different sheets all over my body. I felt very self conscious. And I remember at the end of that exam thinking I could have done better than that to put immunities. So there were a few things where I thought, you know, I think I could take better care of women than that. And then the combination of surgery and births and putting it all together made a specialty that I was attracted to.
What's the biggest misconception women have about themselves in their own bodies?
Um, you know what I think about that question? I do have the privilege of visiting with women every day. You know, I see 15 to 20 women a day, and I have for almost 30 years. So I get to listen to women. And, um, I think what strikes me the most about women is that as a whole women don't feel like they're enough. I initially thought, you know, we're all worried about our weight. But even women that that air beautifully made and wonderful figures find a way not to feel good enough in another area there like So I think striving for perfection is in a disillusion and that I think I hear from women all the time that in one or the other area of their lives I just don't feel like they're enough for somebody or themselves. And it strikes me that that's what I like to help teach women that we can feel like we're enough just the way we are.
As you know, talking about vaginas has been taboo in the past, and I think the way that you educate women about their bodies and their options for health and aesthetics is so empowering. What do you wish for women that comes to their bodies?
This has taken a while through my career to realize that this part of the female body has a certain stigma to it. That isn't necessary. Um, you know, I think genitals in general, people kind of shy away from and are to talk about it, and yet it's just another part of our anatomy. You know, we don't have a problem talking to a doctor about years and noses and faces and mouths that we start talking about our vagina or a bladder or something isn't your bowels or any of that. People feel ashamed and shut down, and my goal for women is to be able to talk openly about whatever is on their mind about their bodies without apology and not to be embarrassed, you know? And if I can put them in here with their own body, maybe they can feel it. Ease with their body with somebody else.
Now I know your website does a great job of explaining. The different service is that you provide and you're big on YouTube and you've got YouTube videos on all sorts of different service is. But can you talk to a vaginal rejuvenation? And the different service is around that just for the audience that might not be familiar with these type of service is
sure. And this topic of vaginal rejuvenation is always a bit controversial because people say it isn't necessary or they trivialize it or they think it's you know pop culture. When in reality, um, to rejuvenate someone I just gave a lecture on this the other day is to just make it new to make it feel new again. And national rejuvenation is descriptive. It's just to say, Hey, I want something to feel better that has been affected by aging or childbirth. Another apologetically, I think women are allowed to say something doesn't feel right, and I'd like to feel better. So, you know, I think for the women an audience out there, I'm sure you've all seen the bumper sticker that says, Well behaved women don't make history. Ah, I
you have to have an idea that goes just a little bit against the grain. If you're gonna make an impact in life or splash, you know, I have a strong belief that women's voices around this particular subject deserved to be heard, and yet it's still somewhat minimized. And yet I was willing to step out and say, No, that is not true. This should not be minimized, it's relevant, and women need help in this area. But I can tell the audience that it has not been an easy march or Is it popular to be that woman trying to go a little bit against the grain of the general medical community? I still feel that way some, but it's changing ever so slowly but to rejuvenate the vagina, to say, Uh, my vagina has changed because of some event, whether it be a traumatic event, I mean, it could be something as egregious as a rape. It could be childbirth. It could be a relationship that didn't go well and you want to start over in your life. There's a lot of reasons to want to make something to again, just like turning the page. And I think if our anatomy has been affected by whatever we've been through, well, I just get a do over
and also in your clinic. You offer service's around hormones and balancing and just women's health care in general, what are some of the service is within that segment that I want to make sure the audience knows that you you offer
Yeah, I think you know, I love your mysterious moving on and man, you know, I think it's one of those things in our life that affects us, how we feel our personality and in a woman's life. There's so many passages we go through where hormones fluctuate you. No one is puberty. Obviously, one is childbirth. Pregnancy one is menopause. And so, through each of these passages, hormones are fluctuating. And sometimes women and people need help with how to handle them. When when they're a little too extreme. So whether it be PMS and adolescents, whether the postpartum depression, whether it be the hormonal fluctuations, that pregnancy could be menopause where, um, women don't know if they need hormones or not. Ah, I don't think it's real clear cut to all of us when we know whether we need something. Soto have a sideline coach around. You know what's normal? What isn't normal. Is there help? Should I take help? All those things. That's one of the areas we help women navigate their lives.
So being the doctor requires you to have enormous responsibilities. And, of course, being a business owner has its own set of responsibilities and challenges. What made you decide to take on the additional challenges of opening up your own practice?
Well, Mary, that that was not an easy decision for a physician because in general physicians were not trained to run businesses. That's not part of our training. We're trained to care for people, but, um, I have been in practice for over 20 years where I wasn't in charge of my own business and finances and profit loss statements and employee management, and I felt that the the care that I was delivering was somewhat impacted by the people managing me. And so some of the choices I had to make or wanted to make were, um, affected by the fact that I was under a broader management system and I decided that for me to take off and do certain aspects of my career that I felt passionate about, I had to be in charge of that because somebody else might tell me I couldn't do it. So I wanted Thio. She won't want to drive the bus so I could go
in any direction I wanted to. Is there a way to say you have a typical day? I mean, I I imagine that you never have two days that look the same, but what are some of the roles responsibilities that you do from day to day?
I would say since I've owned my own business. Um, and since I've given up obstetrics, my typical day is a little bit different, but, ah, today, in my data jaywalk. I try to keep my work to four days a week. I tried to not work three days a week, so I have a reasonable work life balance. I have time for health care. Um, I won't day start somewhere, depending on whether it's a surgery day between 7 30 and nine. In the morning, you get held between six and 6 30 at night, four days a week, and then I have all responsibility. So I'm always available to patients after hours by phone. But that isn't too laborious. It's a privilege. Actually, it doesn't affect my quality of life. I don't hear from people that often, but as a position of responsibility is to be available to our patients, which is some of the stress that doctors feel. Another mystery is where you can actually drink. Well, we can't do that,
so that might fall in one of the cons. Why? I mean, I guess you look at it as a pro because you feel it's part of the service or responsibility that you have is a doctor. But what are some of the present months of being a doctor? Business owner.
I take a positive. Being a physician is like I said, what a privilege it is to be such an important person in people's lives. And they they give us their personal information so freely and so trusting Lee that I, uh it's an honor, really is being an honor. And, uh and I get to do amazing things that I've learned how the entire human body works. I thought the first day I got into bed school, I thought I'd won the lottery cause I got find out every part of the human body and diseases treatments. Um, so just having access to that knowledge to me, you know, someone who loves to learn was such a privilege. Um, I got top surgery, which isn't everybody that gets to go into the human body and work in it. Take things out. So things up, and, um, it's just amazing craft. If you well, that not everybody gets to d'oh. Uh, the con side isn't It's an enormous stress to carry that kind of responsibility, you know, after someone off operation. You know, when I do surgery, I think of those people for weeks. I don't stop thinking about until I know they're okay. Um, I carry him with me all the time.
there's a surgical complication, you know, we take it very hard. They happen, we get through them, but takes its told, you know, in childbirth went, we lost babies or there was a birth defect. Um, that takes its toll emotionally on a physician. Terribly. It's a terrible burden. Sometimes to see tragedy that people don't, you know, touch. And yet watching a birth is the opposite side of that. The exhilaration of her. So, um, there's a cost to toe how many years of training it takes. You know, if I'm ever playing trivial pursuit, people go. Gosh, you don't know much about anything but medicine. I
have a right, because
I lost a decade of my life studying. I never had a television. I never read a newspaper. So, you know, just certain part of my life that I gave up to become a doctor. So there's some sacrifice.
Technology has evolved so greatly over the last. You know, a decade, two decades? It's constantly evolving. What has technology done or enabled you to do for your patients today that you couldn't have done in the past?
Well, first of all, the access to information. You
if, uh in med school, we realized at first we had to memorize everything like it wasn't. You know, if we couldn't remember what branch of what artery was? You know, I want order. We had a problem. We had to go find a book. And now, I mean, if for any reason we're lacking, information in the computer is not very far away, we could look up medications. We could look up essential diagnoses. There are all sorts of things at our fingertips that used to be available. If I can't remember the side effects of the medication, I can look it up immediately. So I think the tremendous surge of accesses information so quickly has made practicing medicine, uh, in a way less stressful. Used to be, you had to remember everything. Now it's just right there in our fingertips. On the other hand, there's so much more information, it would almost be impossible to know everything. So he's been a good thing. The other is electronic medical records. You
watched that change. We went from paper to computers. On some ways, it's been positive that you have access to information quickly if you need to. If you get into a patient's chart that was at the hospital from your office. On the other hand, we used to be able to dictate, not even worry about a chart. We never saw the tumor. We just sort of talked into a machine and ended up in the chart. We used to be able to give verbal orders to a nurse, and no, we're not allowed to do that. Everything has to be inputted into the computer. So
and then surgical
technology has gone through the roof. Since I've started practicing, we used to open everyone's abdomen to do a hysterectomy, and now we're operating through five millimeter port and using robots. And very few women have a big incision on their abdomen anymore. So it's been it's been a privilege to watch that to sort of Boone of technology and how it impacted surgery.
Isn't there something that you conduce where you sit on a machine for incontinence? or Kegels. Yeah, you have.
We have a chair now again. I mean, it used to be 2 30 years ago, women barely knew what Kagel Woz, And we could tell them to squeeze a muscle, and that was about it. I now have ah, chair in my office that will knew 11,000 kegels 28 minutes just sitting on a chair, fully clothed with magnetic coil, that when it moves, it creates an electromagnetic field that makes muscles contract. So ah, the innovation is astounding that, you know, things were moving very quickly. If we see a problem, the innovators get on it, and solutions appear very quickly.
And that's what I love about technology is really life improving tools like that that change people's lives. I mean, and I just think unfortunately, so many women out there that still don't even know these exist or available to him. So that's again. One of the reasons I'm so happy that you're on here is a guess, because part of this show is empowering women and educating women. Have you had mentors that have helped you along the way? And how did you go about building those relationships
when I think of a mentor. It's an interesting turn because I make it an effort now to try to mentor young women. I am a few women that I have reached out to me to say, Hey, I think I want to be a doctor during I spend time with them talking to them and trying to help just think through things when they're making decisions and seeing if they're on the right path. I didn't have a lot of that, uh, growing up. As a matter of fact in my family. Like I said, there were no doctors. And when I told my parents I want to be a doctor, they tried to steer me towards nursing because, you know, it was the sixties and seventies. But, um, I would say my people that stand out for me as a mentor or the chairman of my department that believed in me when I felt affirmed by other doctors where they would give me the nod like you're doing a good job. Um, they were little. The mentor relationship for me was more about just being affirmed for what I was doing and that I was doing a good job I was starving for that. And when I got it, I picked it up and I ran with it, you know, especially from people that I respected. So if people I respected, uh, there was a chairman only chest you that's a nationally recognized and he said there's something special in you I would keep doing it. You know, those little words would I would carry him with me. Another chairman and Kansas didn't. Same thing. You're doing what you're doing. You're gonna change the world. I remember he had that coming on, and I hung onto it. It's just sometimes it isn't just side by side mentoring, but it's somebody believing in you and giving you a gift that you carry with you.
Do you think those gentlemen no, they you kept those nuggets with the U
Absolutely not. I don't I don't think they have any idea how much they impacted me. They probably thought they were just one of many. But, um, I think young people need other people to believe in them and to encourage them. I think words of encouragement are hugely important when we feel kind of lost in what direction to go like if someone sees something special in you and they tell it to you that I see that in, you want to run with that, that's a wonderful thing to do for a young person. And I hope to do that for people that when I see it, when I see talent, I try to let women No, I see it in them because some nights we don't say that yourself, you
know, Right? Absolutely. So it would have been some of the biggest challenges that you faced in your career.
I think in medicine. The first greatest challenge I had to deal with was learning how to deal with, um, deaf when no one prepared before. You know, when a patient knives when a baby dies, medicine is is not a specialty where people sit down and ask you how you're doing. You know? How did you handle that? How do you feel? Um, it's a very lonely profession. When somebody dies or a baby dies. That's a lot of resiliency to be able to understand that that's just part of the job. But it wasn't easy when I was first. Didn't early in my career is a very deeply feeling woman. I wish there's been more resource is for that. If I could make a difference that probably wanna help Medical student floor, You know, because when you're young, you don't usually deal with tragedy like that until you get older. But it was difficult in training. Ah, I also have a single for Well, I was going through my career, okay? It was probably one of the most difficult part of my career with the struggling being a good father and being a good doctor.
Yeah, that's hard for any career. I can't even imagine the additional constraints and pressure she must feel as being a surgeon as well as a mother.
Yeah, that was very difficult. And I hope there was, you know, support systems along the way for women in business that need help and support to know how to get through it. Because lettering is its own courier.
Well, but to chunk
challenge two careers and both mothering and being a physician were a business owner. Whatever wouldn't want to do, um, it requires some incredible balance and knowing, you know, to give enough to both. But you could never give everything the boat. So that was That was difficult.
So I think we just kind of touched on it. But is there specific advice that you would give someone looking to become a doctor or a business owner? I mean, what would you want to say? Hey, first think about these three tips for these three things
You think no one ever said to me when I was young, with what do you want data look like? What is the typical work they look like for you? Or if you're thinking about a certain career, ask what your day looks like and what your career looks like and what it looks like day in and day out. I mean, I think it's way more than income. It's about job satisfaction and being able to maintain a family life. If you want to, we'll be happily married if you want to. Or if you want to be a chairman of a department, Do you want to have Children? Is that doable? You know, I sort of asked the questions about their life as much as their oppression that make sure they all fit together.
What are some of the key qualities that someone must have to be successful in your business
as a physician,
as a physician? Yeah. And well, and also a business owner. I mean, organization, responsibilities, those air, obviously, already. But there's gotta be a deeper quality that makes you a unique candidate to do your your field.
To be a position you have, thio, um, really be a high achieving
you know. Wanna have to get a learning has to be something that you thrive on. Thank you have to be competitive. You know, you have to wanna I wanna win at the game of being a doctor, You know, Like I want to get a I want to get a good grade on that test. I wanna get there early. Um, there's a certain dr that you need Thio get into medical school and to get through medical school because it's intense. It's very intense and yet very rewarding. But, I mean, I think there's a certain degree it you have to have or you just don't think you would make it And simple things like showing up on time, you know, being accountable, not not canceling on things. All of those things really matter when it comes to going to professional school. Um, owning your own business. Um, I think it's accounted plate itself. You know, I You have to pay taxes. You have to get your building on time. If you ask your employees to have a certain standard, you have to live by that standard. I know to be a boss means you have to live by the standards you expect from your employees. So, um, I think there's a great responsibility and being ah, boss, uh, I enjoy it. Sometimes, frankly, I'd rather be in the lunch room chatting about recipes
with everybody else. But I when you're
the boss, I think you have to leave him alone and let them have their fun time and kind of distance yourself and be the boss to oversee, to make sure everybody's doing what they need to do. So it is somewhat of a lonely walk being the owner of a business because you're in charge, you
to I have to be the boss and not be one of the, you know, workers who gets to complain about the boss,
right? The buck stops with you. Yes. So what drives your success or what is your big. Why in life?
That's a really tough question. Mary. Um, I think it's, uh, someone once told me that you have to have a fire in your belly for this kind of thing. I don't think motivation and passion is something someone gives you. I think it's it's inside of you. Um, I think our challenge is to notice it and to believe in yourself. I think a lot of us have desire, passion, but to follow through with that has to do as a certain inner strength that you go. I think I could do this. I think I can succeed. Um, and where that came from, I really not certain, you know, I have. Ah, I don't think I I was It was really from within. Something inside of me really wanted to make a difference for women. And, um and I had the courage to do it. Maybe courage is the key.
So what would you tell people who are women who have self doubt? I mean, everyone has it in different degrees. So when you're feeling challenge, but yet, you know, you should be at the end of success. But someone either some you feel some external force is trying to knock you down, or it's just going outside your comfort zone more than you're ever used to. What words of encouragement would you tell those people?
I think you have to be willing to take chances in life that may not succeed and not look at failure as the end. But just looking at If you take a chance and it doesn't work, get up and try again. It's something different. I mean, I think I think we all have, you know, have had times where we've tried something. It didn't work. I mean, um, I didn't get into medical school the first time I tried. And if that had been, um, I always think about, you know, I tried again the next year, and it's mostly because I didn't have good mentors to explain to me what the process was like. I didn't handle it right the first time. The second time around, I gave it everything I had and had I not done that, I wouldn't be where I am today, So I think I think you have to be willing to fall down a few times along the way. But if you have that inner conviction to keep going. And, you know, I also think I don't know if it's unique to women. I was in the women more than men all day. There's this inner voice that wants to take you down and that self doubt that self critic, I think we have to quiet that voice. I mean, everybody has. But I think we have to convert that voice into I can I will and get some key friends that feed that boys and A You know, I think we have to be around people that feed the side of us that loves ourselves that can grow and flourish. And if we're around people that don't see that side of ourselves, try to surround yourself with people that empower you said when you don't feel a car, you can lean on them.
Great advice. What do you most proud of?
Ah, my Children. Pretty easy toe. Look at them and just go. Wow, you know, how did I do that? It's ah also. I mean, they're just amazing humans, and, um, I'm just really proud to be their mother. Um, the other thing is my surgical abilities and something I take great pride And where I can transform, uh, someone's body with my hands and do surgery and stitch him up and put a bandage on it and say, Well, look, I did that, you know, Uh, it was great satisfaction to me.
Okay, just a couple more questions left, has we hear you're in the corner here. If you could tell your 20 year old self one thing, what would it be?
I probably said, don't worry what you look like in a bathing suit.
You know what would I
go to a
beach in my 20 year old body?
Ah, you know, I think ah, there to be bold and, uh, be kind yourself and forgive yourself mistakes, you know? But, um, I think that, you know, we have so much doubt self doubt in our twenties that, um it really isn't necessary. So I think probably embrace yourself, you know, celebrate yourself. It's probably what I tell my 20 year old self.
That's a perfect place to end. Thank you so much for being my guest today. Where can women find out about you connect with you?
I have a website, Dr. n g y n dot com d r and d one end up ah, have a clinic in like Oswego, Oregon. So number 5039 through 81646 It's Dr Nancy Sells very better known as Dr Angie Williams.
Wonderful. Thank you, Nancy.
Thank you, Mary.
Thanks for listening to the episode today. It was really fun chatting with my guest. If you like their show, please like it and share it with your friends. If you wanna learn what we're up to, please go check out our website at to be bolder dot com. That's the number two little be bolder dot com.