Q: Where are you from and what made you get into medicine?
A: What made me get into medicine I think was just the capacity, you have to learn all the things that people don't say they don't share in life there's like such a distance between people and there are very few things you can do, where you can get very intimate with strangers.
Q: Can you tell me about yourself?
A: Hi, I'm Lillian Hathaway, I'm a physician assistant. I live in West Hollywood, where I practice concierge medicine right now as an urgent care PA. I am originally from the east coast, I grew up on a 145 acre farm in Rhode Island. I moved across the country on my own with four suitcases and I didn’t know anybody. I just felt like there's a story here.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge that you face and face women in healthcare today?
A: To be perfectly frank, women in the world have a really hard time! Just because our bodies are shaped a certain way, and because we look a certain way, there's a preconceived idea of what we can do and who we can be in the world.
Q: What was your path to a career in medicine?
A: I'm a PA, I'm a photographer. I had a very non-traditional path to medicine. I was a really serious violinist in high school, I thought I would spend most of my life in a small room practicing! I just knew that I was meant to be out, that I was meant to be seen, that I was meant to be with people. So I chose to go into medicine.
Q: Are you a planner? Do you plan your day every day?
A: I am not a planner! I buy the notebooks, I go to Target and I look at the organization section, but at the end of the day, I am an off-the-cuff person. I would consider myself an opportunist, I take advantage of opportunities. When it's a beautiful day, I'm probably going to the beach!
Q: What do you want young women to know about healthcare?
A: I think the number one thing I want young women to know about healthcare is that you don't have to be another person. You don't have to be another version of yourself. Who you are is exactly what is needed. You do not have to abandon your story. Be you, and do not be ashamed of it. Celebrate your story.
Q: What's the best part of your job, in one word?
A: The people!
Q: Can you tell us a little more about the creative aspect of your life and how it relates to medicine?
A: I would say that in PA school I felt really ostracized. On the weekends I would spend my time working and creating stuff. I'd have my own elaborate photoshoots, with backdrops and makeup and lights! I thought that I would have to cut those things out if I wanted to be in medicine. I thought I couldn't be who I was. I think a really big turning point was seeing actual female medical providers who maintain their sense of self while still practicing medicine.