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20 Questions: Marion Mass, MD, Pediatric Hospitalist

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Dr. Marion Mass is a pediatric hospitalist practicing in Sellersville, Pennsylvania at Grandview Hospital. Dr. Mass received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Pennsylvania State University and her M.D. from Duke University in North Carolina. She completed an internship at Northwestern University Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL.
Dr. Mass has been a member of the Pennsylvania Medical society and is a member of the American Health Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Mass has received several scholarships including full rides to both Duke and Cornell Universities.
When did you first decide to become a doctor? Why?
I first decided to become a doctor when I was in fifth grade. At first I had wanted to be a lawyer, but quickly got turned off to that idea after witnessing a lawyer defend a guilty criminal on television. I had always had a passion for science as a kid. Going to school was something I found enjoyable and I knew that it was something I wanted to continue. I also like decision making and knew that I had the attitude of a doctor. I loved bonding with and taking care of patients and I wanted to treat people that needed help.
How did you choose the medical school that you attended?
I found the campus at Duke to be stunning, and I loved the story behind the formation of the school. Of course the full ride helped too!
What surprised you most about your studies in medical school?
Coming from Penn State to a great school like Duke, I was worried that everyone would be way too intellectual for me to relate to them. I had pictured everyone there to be absolutely brilliant, but upon arrival, I found that not to be entirely true. Also, I learned that true hard work really applies to medical school. It isn’t like high school where certain students can get by without studying, or doing their homework; you really have to work extremely hard to be successful.
If you had to do it all over again, would you still become a pediatric hospitalist?
Yes. However, I do know people that chose the medical field for their careers and are now scrambling to get out. I am financially secure with the help of my husband’s income as a surgeon and that allows me to continue my job and take care of my children at the same time. If I had to work full time to support my family I would have to say no, I wouldn’t do it all over again. Spending time with my family is the most important thing to me.
Has being a pediatric hospitalist met your expectations? Why or why not?
Yes, my schedule is very flexible which leaves me enough time to spend caring for my family and enjoying my hobbies.
What do you like the most about being a pediatric hospitalist?
I like patient interaction and being able to bond with those who I am caring for. I enjoy the “rush” of caring for sick patients and the feeling of being able to help those who need it and improving lives.
What do you like least about being a pediatric hospitalist?
Government intervention. I don’t like how the government is setting guidelines and intervening, trying to tell me how to do my job. I find it much more stressful to work in ways that I feel are less effective than the ways I prefer to work. In addition to that, I also hate making parents cry when I tell them something that they don’t want to hear.
What was it like finding a job in your field? What were your options and why did you decide to do what you did?
My husband, who works as an ear, nose, and throat surgeon, got his job first. This was important to us because in a specialized field like his, there must be a need for a doctor of his kind in the area. Then once his job was secured, I called around and looked for a job as a hospitalist in several different hospitals and took the offering that was most suitable to my needs. I didn’t find the process that difficult.
Describe a typical day at work.
Well, first I will usually go to the emergency room to assess patients on their condition to see if they need to be moved to a more specialized care unit. I spend a great deal of time communicating with my nurses and letting them know what I am going to do. I also spend a lot of time speaking with parents concerning the condition of their child. It’s not uncommon for me to do a spinal tap or two on an average work day. I spend much time inputting information into computers that hold electronic medical records. We are not permitted to write out orders anymore; I find it irritating that it takes me around five times the amount of time to input the information into the computers. And sometimes I am called to C-sections to take newborn babies that need immediate assistance if something is wrong.
On average: How many hours a week do you work? How many hours of sleep do you get per night? How many weeks of vacation?
I work one 12-hour night shift on Monday nights and one 8-hour day shift on Tuesdays and that’s it for the week. On average I get about 4 to 6 hours of sleep per night. I get 3 weeks of vacation and an extra week if I do a service project.
In your position now, what would you say to yourself 10 years ago?
I would tell myself that I made a smart decision choosing not to work full time. Keep at it, and always keep your options open. Look for other options in work as well in case you need to leave medicine.
What info/advice do you wish you had known when beginning medical school?
You can’t do it all and at the same time do well. Family life will suffer if you plan to do too much at once.
What types of outreach/volunteer work do you do, if any?
I am heavily involved in the upcoming election and would like to roll back Obamacare. I am also involved in my children’s school district where I help spread healthy ideas and information to students through talks and the organization of outdoor projects. I also am currently teaching two students at the University of Pennsylvania.
Do you have family? Do you feel you have enough time to spend with them?
Yes, and I have plenty of time to spend with them. Other doctors that I work with do find this to be a problem though.
Do you have any advice for students interested in pursuing pediatric medicine as a career?
Make sure you know what you are getting into. Spend as much time as possible shadowing and speaking with doctors to get an idea of what kind of life it is. Read articles like these and always challenge yourself, but never attempt to take on more than you can handle.
How do you spend your free time?
I enjoy gardening, cooking, running, and volunteering.
From your perspective, what is the biggest issue in health care today?
The biggest issue would be the fraudulent notion that Obamacare will fix medicine when it will only do it harm. Also, we need to do something about the lawyers who relentlessly pursue physicians.
Do you feel that your training prepared you well for what you do?
Yes, for sure. I feel Duke prepared me for everything I encountered.
Where do you see your field in ten years?
In my opinion, it really depends on the election and if we do something meaningful to save medicine.
How much do you find yourself thinking about your job when you are not working?
Generally, not much, but it really depends on whether or not there is a problem with a patient, in which case I will call the hospital to check on him or her. Also, if there is a lawsuit on my mind it can be very stressful. Thankfully, nothing has ever happened to my husband or me, but I do know other doctors who say it was the most stressful experience they have ever gone through.

79 thoughts on “20 Questions: Marion Mass, MD, Pediatric Hospitalist”

  1. Great article, thank you for the information. As far as Obama-care goes, the statements were purposefully biased and without legitimate reason. As a medical professional, there is no justification for blatantly saying that the ACA would harm medicine, when in fact there are arguments for both sides of the coin. For some background, as with you, my family (myself included) practices in the medical field, and I am huge supporter of ACA/PP. Don’t think for a second that this was meant to ‘fix’ medicine, that is ridiculous.
    p.s. good luck fending off the lawyers, as they will never go away. Again, I mean no disrespect, but please provide accurate information as to why you believe Obama-care (I don’t know of any individual who knows about the act to call it that, simply public rhetoric) is ruining medicine. I really hope it isn’t simply because you are receiving 5% reimbursement losses, or anything superficial like that is it?

  2. I would have enjoyed this article much more with the political commentary and complaining from the author. Positive and enthusiastic physicians who display passion for their work bring the profession up. SDN has more than enough negativity on the message boards.

  3. lol, what a f’in joke. She works 2 days a week @ 20 hours!! Must be nice to have that ENT safety net. What a w
    Moreover, she sounds like one of those tea party/conservative types who scream “KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF MEDICARE”.
    All in all, a giant disappointment in this interview.

    • This is the worst interview I ever read on sdn. She sounds stupid and doesn’t know what she’s talking about. For someone who only works 20hrs/week, there is no need to complain.

  4. “I am heavily involved in the upcoming election and would like to roll back Obamacare.”
    lol stopped reading right there
    can’t say i’m surprised you’re a right winger after you wouldn’t shut up about your husband

  5. thanks for taking a spot in medical school and only working two days a week, this exacerbates the medical shortage this country is facing. With limited amount of MD spots in schools and a growing population, this is an issue. AND the author received a full ride to school.

    • I totally agree with this. She got a full ride to Duke. That is money coming from somewhere, expecting her to do great things and serve the community around her. Not to only work two days a week, and then dive into politics to roll back a cause that I believe puts our country a step in the right direction.

  6. Dr Mass, ignore these clowns with their hating comments. None of them are physicians. They’re the typical pre-med / medical student indoctrinated with liberal views. If it weren’t for the framework placed by the previous generation these Gen Y / Millenial entitlement whores would’ve never seen medicine as the gratifying career that it has been up until now.

    • 1. Women fought for generations to get access to higher education.
      What happens when they get what they want? They end up in the same place: housewife who spends 20 hours a week volunteering at the hospital while hubby brings home the dough.
      Free Cornell and Duke education worth hundreds of thousands dollars and residency training worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars (paid for by taxpayers), and what do we get? Me, me, me.
      Male genius: work, work, work, research, research, research, invent, polio vaccine, etc., make the world a better place.
      Female genius: me and my kids, I could care less about anything else.
      2. It’s the Baby Boomers screwed the Millennials.
      Yeah, we have shorter residency hours, but pay has decreased, it’s not possible to make $500,000+ in primary care, and we will never collect Social Security & Medicare, while you tax us for your old age.

  7. This was a horrible article. The MD was uninspiring and complained too much for someone with a cush lifestyle who got a free ride to med school and works 2x a week. She’s living the life and complaining about Obamacare, probably because she doesn’t want to see pay cuts. Oh no, poor you, do you have to work 24 hours a week now to see the same amount of money? Seriously this woman is living the life and has nothing to complain about. This article had too much poltical undertone which shouldn’t be allowed on SDN.

  8. In response to the hate coming toward the author about her part time work, she earned her spot (and scholarship) just like everyone else and as such can do whatever she wants with her degree. If that means living a balanced life by taking shorter hours, well I can’t really blame her…
    I would have liked to hear a little more about what she doesn’t like about the ACA. But in any case lots of doctors hate the measures but I never seem to hear their specific arguments about the subject.

  9. I agree with a lot of the comments here. I hated the political undertones in this interview. Tell us about your job and your field, don’t tell us about your views on politics. I also wish there would be a few interviews with physicians who were single parents or who were married to a non-physician. Sick of reading about physicians marrying physicians then complaining about not getting paid enough. Boo hoo.

  10. The comments here are so typical of the intolerance of liberals. The interview question clearly asked her what she thought the biggest issue in healthcare today is. She gave her opinion. Deal with it people. She’s getting involved in something that matters to her, which is attempting to roll back government intervention in medicine. I respect this doctor for making her family a higher priority than her career and for getting involved in something that matters to her. The commenters here need to grow up.

    • She should be involved with her patients but she’s spending more time denying access to healthcare than providing care to her patients. She only works 20 hours a week caring for her patients while, ostensibly, spending more time ensuring that more people don’t have access to healthcare. No one here has a problem balancing work and life; in fact, most of SDN is very positive to the ROAD to happiness.
      She is the embodiment of the “fuck you, got mine” mentality.

      • not true. she has every right to do whatever she wants, this article is just the opinions and life experiences of ONE doctor. you have no right to judge her, or anyone else for that matter. she is fighting for what she believes in which is more than most people can say.

      • So if I campaigned against black people getting access to care, would you defend me in the same manner as “I’d be fighting for what I believes in which is more than most people can say.”
        When someone is wrong, they are wrong. She is campaigning against access to healthcare for millions of Americans.

      • Notbobtrustme, Dr. Mass is not campaigning against access to healthcare for millions of Americans, she is fighting to reverse an illegal and illegitimate piece of crap legislation that was rammed down our throats by a bunch of socialist liberals. She doesn’t like it and neither do millions of Americans. It has nothing to do with access to care. It has everything to do with power, control and money for the government. The sooner you wake up and realize that the sooner you will see why this Obamacare should be overturned.
        Your argument comparing her efforts to your hypothetical scenario of campaigning against black people doesn’t really work. Being black is something one cannot help. It’s just the way you are born, and all should be treated equal no matter what their skin color is. However, health care is a privilege not something you are born with an inherent right to. It is possible to become un-poor, but it is not possible to change your skin color. Bad example. You are the wrong one, not Dr. Mass.

      • Yeah notbob your example is just horrible…being racist is completely different than being against the poor. Poor people can try to make money, get insurance, etc. But race isn’t even relevant in this situation. At all.

  11. This article was a JOKE! It was a decently written interview but the radical conservative author biased the interview. I heard that he just replaced answers with his own when he didnt like them. J-O-K-E pathetic.

  12. You people are fools. This is not nearly conservative enough. Do you really want the same people that run the DMV running your healthcare?

    • You mean the office that takes care of hundreds of millions of cars throughout the states and does a fairly good job of ensuring that you pass minimum standards.
      WOE IS ME I HAVE TO WAIT FOR 30 MINUTES BECAUSE I LITERALLY CANNOT COMPREHEND THE SCALE OF THE ORGANIZATION AT HAND.
      Newsflash, being in a civilized society will involve lots of bureaucracy.

  13. As a premed student at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities, I enjoyed reading about Dr. Mass’s political views as well as her medical experiences. The medical field today is based greatly on politics so I don’t think there should be any disgust at a doctors political bias. If all interviews were based just on medical information, there would be no need for a student like myself to read them all. Or those of you liberals who are freaking out, sorry but most doctors feel this way lately. So please calm down and keep your opinions to yourselves. This website is about student writers and there is no reason to bash them or their interviewees for sharing their thoughts.

    • “As a premed student at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities”
      oh wow here’s your cookie. lol shut up.

      • ^ i’m a premed at yale, actually. i just don’t find the need to spout that out when it’s uncalled for. try again.

      • Of course you are Because all Yale students would mock someone else for saying they go to a good school. I don’t believe you and I’m sure you couldn’t prove it.

      • Sounds like you’re more of a community college bio major who hopes to one day transfer to a real state school so you have the chance to get into some sort of medical school or at least work as a receptionist in a doctors office

      • oh because i think you’re being obnoxious you think i must go to a community college. lol that’s cute. some ivy league students know how to be humble. you should try it sometime. i’m not mocking you for going to a school; i’m mocking you for being a douchebag about it. learn the difference.

      • just saying that there’s no way you’d be so bitter toward a successful, educated doctor if you went to a good school, let alone an ivy. students who go to top tier schools appreciate other educated people, whether or not they agree. debate is fine, but totally ripping someone apart online is cowardly and immature. so there’s no way you can go to yale. btw, if i’m being a douchebag for saying i go to a prestigious school then you try to throw in the lie that you go to yale, you’re being quite hypocritical. by saying i go to a prestigious school i am enforcing that i am well educated, and that i have aspirations like the doctor in the article. if you’re so quick to jump on me for saying that, you have some major problems and must go to a dump school.

      • the only reason i threw in my yale education is because you claimed i’m “jealous” of your success. in that case it was necessary to bring up my education. in your case it wasn’t. turns out i’m probably more successful than you are and you just can’t seem to handle that reality, hence your claims that i’m lying about my education. please tell me how i can prove that i’m a yale student without comprimising anonymity. i’d gladly oblige in order to see that egg land on your face. i’m not bitter towards her for being educated and successful. i lack respect for her views, which i’m entitled to feel, just as she’s entitled to express them. such poor reading comprehension for someone who goes to such a prestigious school! and yeah, i’m totally the immature one when you’re the one bashing people who, god forbid!, go to community college. check your privilege.

      • not jealous of my success, genius, i haven’t graduated yet. i said you must be jealous of the doctor’s success. she got into great school with full rides because she was more than qualified and you’re bitter so you must not be. and you say i have poor reading comprehension yet you’ve corrected many of your posts for having bad spelling, so how about that, yale? as for who is more successful, only time will tell. if you even make it to med school.

      • “Sorry if you’re bitter that you can’t do as well!”
        how is that not implying that i’m jealous of your success? wow, your reading comprehension is poor even when it’s something you wrote yourself. not even gonna address my so-called “bitterness” at this doctor again. once again, learn how to read. and there’s a difference between bad spelling and typos. obviously i know how to spell or else i wouldn’t have corrected what was nothing more than a misplaced finger, “genius.”
        “so how about that, yale?”
        glad you’ve finally accepted the truth!

    • Lol oh the children. That’s so cute, I remember when I was a premed and thought I knew everything. Boy was I naive. News flash bro, once you get into med school no one cares what undergrad you went to. Really if you’re going into medicine, undergrad has no significance.

      • lol these pre med kids are getting more and more stupid every time I come on here, Lol is right no one knows or cares where you went to undergrad, and most of the time where you even went for med school, and i don’t care where you even did residency, you idiots need to see the big picture, you are caring for someones health, they are the big picture not you. take your dick out of your own ass and grow up. you’ll learn whats important in life when you realize how short life is.

  14. 1. This woman has the right to use her medical degree any way she wants to. If she wants to work 1 hour a week, that is her business. If she wants to be on call every night working 100 hours a week, that is her business. If she wants to drop out of medicine all together and travel the world, that is her business.
    2. Her political views are her own. She even says in “my opinion”.
    All you criticizing her really need to grow up. I would be willing to bet all of you are either pre-med or in med school and have never been in the real world a day in your life. Welcome to reality, there will be people out there when you get done and are working for a living who have different views than you and different aspirations than you. Boo hoo.

    • Medical education and medical training are privileges that are highly subsidized by FEDERAL funding:
      She received a scholarship from a med school, which is supported by: FEDERAL student loans and FEDERAL research funding.
      She received residency training in a hospital, which is supported by FEDERAL funding.
      She was taught by attendings, who are supported by FEDERAL funding, who probably would have preferred to train someone else had they known she would work 2 days a week.
      She is not someone got an art history degree and decided to not enter the rat race. She is someone who willingly took FEDERALLY allocated funds and positions and is repaying the privilege by doing below the bare minimum.
      Hospitals and Medicare are hemorrhaging so much money and yet they are willing to pay her 3 weeks’ vacation for 2 days’ work. No wonder the system is beyond broke.

      • And as a right winger she probably whines about people of low income “feeding off the government.” The irony.

    • I agree that she can do what she wants with her degree, and that she is free to voice her opinions; but because she does it in a public forum, she leaves herself open to rebuttals and criticism. No one is beyond reproach.
      “All you criticizing her really need to grow up.”
      I think it’s you that needs to grow up. If you don’t like criticism, then don’t talk. This isn’t kindergarten.
      “I would be willing to bet all of you are either pre-med or in med school and have never been in the real world a day in your life.”
      You would lose that bet.
      “Welcome to reality, there will be people out there when you get done and are working for a living who have different views than you and different aspirations than you. Boo hoo.”
      Welcome to spouting generalities that say nothing.

      • JC you’re wrong…scholarships to private schools are allocated by the schools. They have large endowments. Federal funds are only given to very low income students in the firm of loans or small grants. So Duke and Cornell gave her money from their own endowment.

  15. I agree that she has the right to do whatever she wants. She’s obviously a brilliant woman and practices the way which she wants to. Te fact that she has financial security with her husband’s job but still works shows that she is dedicated and loves doing what she does. If she chooses to stay home with her kids, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Her kids will be much better off later in life because they were raised by their mother and not some nanny so their mom could go work all the time. She has values and priorities and I think that it’s great.

    • As much as I agree that a woman can choose to raise her children however she wishes, I always resent it when people say that children are better off when they are raised by their mother. Both of my parents worked full-time and I was raised by a nanny. I got into medical school, have a great relationship with my parents, and I’d like to think I turned out fine. It doesn’t matter whether a mom stays at home or whether she has a nanny. What matters is making your child feel loved when you are present.

      • okay that’s a good point. it’s good to see that. but i think in general she should just be able to choose what she wants to do, and if that is staying home with her kids, then so be it.

  16. This was a well-written article, and for everybody who is criticizing it for its political influences, an interview is meant to display the subject’s thoughts towards certain areas. For this to become a political argument is ridiculous. If she chooses to only work 20 hours a week, she may, but consider the fact that she is constantly on call, which makes the hours that she is not physically working still demanding. Just the fact that she must stay up on call and is only getting 4-6 hours of sleep is a testament to that. And “David Lee” is just trying to provoke a response and is not making a well-thought argument, which is what makes these comments useful. Overall, a good interview with well-thought-out questions.

  17. I find this article very interesting and helpful. I learned much from this article and it pains me to see such ignorance in this field. To all of you who criticize the author, and by the way the author is not the doctor, he was merely writing down what she said. Also her views are her own and we should not criticize them unless we are inconsiderate grimy slugs like annon. Go premed, Robert and Kyle!

  18. Re 20 questions Marion Mass. I agree totally with the med student. The interview is fine
    and the feelings expressed by the doctor[ note, a real doctor, not some wannabee] are based upon experience and knowledge of the horrendous changes coming to the practice of medecine and the care that we will all receive. Kudos to the interviewer and the Doctor!!

    • The only sensible people on here are Kyl, Pre-med student, and Agree. The rest are a bunch of liberals with their heads in their back pockets. Face it. Obamacare was rammed through without any debate or disclosure of what was in the bill. We are still finding out on a daily basis what horrible decisions affecting care and costs are written into this legislation. Talk to your own doctor. Between Obamacare and litigation risk, the medical profession as a career has gone to the bottom of the barrell. See you in the Emergency Room .

      • HA! Thanks for calling us a “bunch of liberals”, I take that as a huge compliment. It’s what I strive to be. Many thanks.

      • Sigh If you strive to be a liberal, enjoy paying for everyone who isn’t working from your hard earned paycheck.

  19. if you guys can’t take the politics, don’t comment 🙂 it doesn’t matter if the article had “political undertones”…its her opinion…shouldn’t be allowed on sdn? are you kidding? you and your political correctness need to make your way off sdn.

  20. I don’t think the author should be criticized for her political views. There are plenty of past interviews on SDN in which liberal views were expressed and went uncriticized. It would be a better interview if she had expanded on why she feels the ACA is harmful to medicine, though.

  21. LOL. She wanted to be a lawyer…and then a doctor….married a surgeon, ripped off the govt and Medicare’s medical education system by working 2 days a week and spending the rest of her time “gardening” and complaining that she doesn’t get paid enough for her job. One word for this woman: YUPPIE. I hate how she’s pushing for reform when her life is so care-free. She does not have a good view of what is going on this country.

    • She knows more than you do if you say she ripped off the government…everyone receiving free health care and not even trying to find jobs are ripping off the government.

      • Hkldh, the ACA remedies that by making people pay for health insurance. Your comment belies your misunderstanding of the situation if you support her views but also abhor that people who are receiving free health care (i.e. not having to pay for insurance).

  22. I dislike how the interviewee continually mentions how she feels one way (positive) but assures us that she has colleagues who feel the opposite (negative). You aren’t asked about how your friends feel. You’re asked about your own personal feelings. That’s it. This isn’t a poll. This is an interview.

    • Exactly it’s an interview. An interview is the sharing if opinions and experiences. This comment about it not being a poll is stupid and just irrelevant–interviews can have options, that’s what makes them interesting. Wow shocking Anon…stupid comment

  23. All I learned was that she works part time and that she hates Obamacare. I think this interview completely fails in informing students of the SPECIALTY as an option. Most of her answers are vague and cover why medicine, but nothing specific to pediatric hospitalist. In terms of why she dislikes Obamacare, she should explain why so readers can truly understand her view. Honestly, there was VERY LITTLE substantial information in this article…beyond disappointing.

    • Exactly. I was very excited to read this because I’m interested in this field… but I learned basically nothing from this article. Bad representation of this field by interviewing some who works part-time and is married to a surgeon.

  24. Political commentary aside, I did feel this interview and article was not well written or conveyed. Mentioning the full ride to Cornell when there is no mention of attending Cornell–not clear what the point is. When asked about whether training prepared her, there is no mention of her actual residency training at Northwestern.

    • This is for students, basic info is what we’re looking for. So don’t cut it up, kids wrote this you moron.

  25. To all those saying that she never said why dislikes the ACA, look under the question of what she likes least about being a pediatric hospitalist: “Government intervention. I don’t like how the government is setting guidelines and intervening, trying to tell me how to do my job. I find it much more stressful to work in ways that I feel are less effective than the ways I prefer to work. ” This is exactly what the ACA is – government intervention into healthcare. She DID explain it. Also, the vast majority of doctors seem to agree with her as a whole so I’m not sure why all the pre-meds are jumping on her for it.

      • If you want to talk about intervention, private hospitals and insurers do a ton lot more intervening if you ask me. Again, boomers truly are the worst generation.

  26. I am disappointed that she didn’t really go into detail about being a pediatric hospitalist. I’m planning on doing peds and wanted to know more about what options I have other than outpatient.

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