New Career, New Work-Life Balance in New Brunswick

Dr. Marissa Attis and Dr. Rohail Kumar, Pediatricians at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital
Dr. Marissa Attis and Dr. Rohail Kumar,
Pediatricians at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital

February 16, 2020

What happens when two physicians’ careers collide to become one? Let’s roll back to 2014, in New Orleans, when we met during our pediatric residency training. Life was hectic. We were learning about how to provide health care for children and we were learning about a new culture in a new city, with new colleagues.

While the southern hospitality, warm weather, and Mardi Gras were all great experiences, we knew that this wouldn’t be our forever home. We knew we wanted to be closer to friends and family.

We had both chosen to further pursue our training (Rohail in pediatric palliative care, and Marissa in pediatric critical care), but as our sub-specialty training came to a close, we had to make an important decision on where we would settle. We wanted to be near family and start to lay roots.

The next thing we knew, we had accepted jobs at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital, as pediatricians. It was a healthcare system that was foreign to us, amidst the complexities of COVID-19.

Two new pediatricians, in a new healthcare setting can be daunting, but we had the support of our team. While we are still learning the system, things are slowly starting to come together. 

So why did we decide on Moncton? We anticipated that Moncton would afford us a decent work-life balance, in an environment where we could be close to our family, and as a bonus – we would be close to the ocean. We both enjoy being outdoors and knew that the Maritimes would provide us with a great platform to be able to do this. 

While we had to give up our subspeciality training, we looked forward to bringing our skill sets to a community hospital to help support children and expand on the current services. We looked forward to being near family and friends, knowing that we were only a flight or two away from any travel destination.

What does a typical day look like, you might ask? Well, to be honest there is no such thing as “typical.” We do work together in the clinic to care for kids aged 0-16. Some days we have patients that need care in hospital, while other days we are solely providing outpatient care. When we are on call, we provide care for children in the emergency department, as well as babies in the neonatal ICU. 

While we faced many obstacles on our arrival, and continue to confront new obstacles, we are glad that we are on this journey together. We are happy with our decision to be a part of the pediatric team at The Moncton Hospital and we hope that we can continue to grow and make changes, each step of the way.

We are grateful that in these difficult “COVID times,” we can be with our family and spend time exploring our province and helping the children of this community.

Dr. Marissa Attis is from Moncton, New Brunswick. She completed her medical school training at Saba University in Saba. She then completed her pediatric residency at Tulane University, in New Orleans. She completed further training in pediatric critical care medicine in Nashville, Tennessee before moving back to Moncton as pediatrician in September 2020.

Dr. Rohail Kumar is from Karachi, Pakistan. He completed his medical school training at Aga Khan University in Pakistan. He then completed his pediatric and child psychiatry training at Tulane University, New Orleans He further sub-specialized in pediatric palliative care at the University of Birmingham at Alabama. He joined the Moncton Hospital as a pediatrician in September 2020.