Every day, our doctors go above and beyond to help our communities heal. On March 30, we celebrate Doctors’ Day, expressing our appreciation to those who care for us and guide us to maintain a healthy lifestyle all year.
May S. Thomassee, MD, FACOG, minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon with Our Lady of Lourdes Health, has been part of our ministry for nearly two years, and she shared her thoughts on being a doctor.
1. What inspired you to pursue a career in medicine/healthcare?
I enjoy people. I love science and surgery. I felt this was the best career to maintain all of these together.
2. Why did you choose your specialty?
It felt right. My patient population and the clinical scenarios all drew me to this specialty. After a few years of practice I realized the specialty chose me, in a roundabout way.
3. Have there been any challenges you’ve faced and overcome in your career journey?
Early in my career as a surgeon I had to learn to be assertive, respectable and achieve excellent outcomes. Now, my goals have changed. I’ve matured to realize that, as humans, we cannot offer perfection, but can only give our best and pray for guidance from God to help us and our patients to achieve His goals.
4. Who has influenced you most in your career?
Probably my husband. I’ve had excellent mentors along the way and still think of several from my past training, colleagues after training and even previous colleagues here in town. Through this entire journey, my husband silently demonstrated how to give 100 percent every day and to continue to pursue excellence in patient AND self-care.
5. What do you like most about being a doctor?
Having the trust of my patients. I often get to learn very personal details that are hard to openly discuss. I am honored when a patient trusts me to tell me what is bothering them, allowing me to treat them with what I know.
6. If you weren’t a doctor, what would you do?
Artist (painting) or Esthetician
7. How do you ensure your patients feel heard during their visit?
Sometimes I can relate to their stories, sometimes I cannot. I try to stop and hear their concerns so I am able to target my therapies to what actually is bothering them. I also like to ask all my patients something personal—mostly about what they do for work, since this defines a lot of us and gives a background of character/beliefs and skills.
8. What is something that people may be surprised to know about you?
I am from Natchitoches, my mother was an elementary teacher and my father a plumber. I have no physicians in my family. My parents were my greatest inspiration driving me to study and work hard in all of areas of my life when growing up. I am forever grateful to them for their unending support.
9. Is there anything else you would want to share in a profile about you and your career?
I practice what I teach. I love physical therapy (due to ongoing/chronic knee issues), exercising in different ways, and I try to recommend this to patients when I can. I believe that friends can impact overall health – such that when you have good friends who are supportive and understand you, your mental health can be optimized. When you have stressors or negativity surrounding you, then pain, fatigue and other ailments can take over.