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Raise Her Up: Jill Griffiths

6-minute read

Jill has worked as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist in Edmonton since 2006, and currently practices at the Pacific Center for Reproductive Medicine. In addition to her day job, she is a mom of four children aged 5-11 (including twins!) and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Alberta. Outside of work, she loves to design and make clothing, sharing her creations on her Instagram account @kneesocksandgoldilocks.

Raise Her Up - Jill - Poppy Barley
Raise Her Up - Jill - Poppy Barley Raise Her Up - Jill - Poppy Barley

“The privilege of being able to provide emotional support and hope for my patients is immensely rewarding...”

“The privilege of being able to provide emotional support and hope for my patients is immensely rewarding...”

Raise Her Up - Jill - Poppy Barley

Day job:

OBGYN, Mom of 4

What I'm reading:

Robert Munsch by day, Fertility Journals by night. And Brene Brown. I love her.

What I'm listening to:

One Republic

Workout of choice:

HIIT (Orange Theory)

What I'm doing when I'm not at work:

Driving kids to extracurricular activities and refereeing the back seat.

Unpopular opinion:

Sleep is overrated.

Raise Her Up - Jill - Poppy Barley

The What

What is the most rewarding part of the work you do?

Infertility can be a very stressful and devastating experience for couples to go through, and at times can be very discouraging for both patients and physicians alike. When a couple who has struggled to conceive eventually holds the child they longed for in their arms, (even if does not necessarily happen in the way they imagined it would), there is no greater reward than thinking that maybe I helped bring them one small step closer to that dream. The privilege of being able to provide emotional support and hope for my patients is immensely rewarding, as is working alongside an amazing team of colleagues who are equally as passionate about helping people achieve their desired families.

Have you had any major setbacks? If so (if you are willing to share) what was it, how did you deal with it and did it make you stronger in the end?

My husband and I struggled personally at one point with infertility, which made working in Obstetrics very emotionally challenging. We eventually were successful in conceiving (more children than we initially planned hahaha), but I will never forget the grueling physical and emotional roller coaster involved in the process. Although at the time, it felt so frustrating and hopeless, going through it personally gave me a passion to support others going through similar journeys and the ability to support them in ways I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to. Raise Her Up - Jill - Poppy Barley

How do you manage your time with such a busy career, family of four, and sewing, blogging, etc?

Time management is definitely a work in progress for me, and I find myself constantly having to reprioritize. I am very protective about the time that I spend with my kids, and learning to say “no” to things (in both my personal and professional life) has been an essential skill that has taken me years to develop. I think as women and especially as moms, we feel the need to tackle everything and do it perfectly, and I am slowly learning to both give myself more grace and ask for help when I need it. I am fortunate to have an amazing husband who is as involved with our kids and their activities as I am, and the ability to work part time in an environment that supports me extremely well in being able to do so. I don’t get a lot of “me time”, but daily exercise is my priority when I do, as it provides me with both mental clarity and physical energy. I also find a lot of joy in sewing and designing, so try to work this in a couple of nights a week after the kids go to bed…but out of everything, it is the first thing to go when the hours in a day just run out!

What is one thing about yourself, that people will be surprised to hear?

My favorite hour of the week is the adult hip hop class I take! Raise Her Up - Jill - Poppy Barley

What's one thing would you like to see a change in the modern workplace? In healthcare specifically? With women in healthcare (even more specifically!)?

There are more women in medicine now than ever before, which has led to some amazing changes in how women are able to structure their practices to accommodate their various life stages, including job sharing and working part time. That being said, I would love nothing more than to see female physicians better support their female colleagues as they navigate these life stages and the accompanying challenges that come with balancing families and careers. (which is why I love the “raise her up” theme of this campaign so much)!

What woman or women, have impacted your life the most (personally or professionally)?

I have had many female mentors in Medicine throughout my training and practice, but it is my mom who has impacted my life the most. She has always selflessly put her family first, and been the most amazing role model to me. I know that I would not be at this point in my career or personal life without her support.

As an avid Poppy Barley fan for many years, what does Luxury for the People mean to you? How do you connect to it?

I don’t think I really understood this concept until I started making clothes myself and realized just how much time, effort and expense goes into the process. It made me much more selective in the purchases that I make, to value quality over quantity, and to take into consideration if the people involved in the manufacturing process are being fairly compensated and looked after. Poppy Barley has always been an amazing local example to me of a company that produces timeless, high quality bag and shoes…“luxury for the people”…while simultaneously looking after the people making them and giving back to the local community.
Raise Her Up - Jill - Poppy Barley

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