Dr. Rebecca Brightman
Today I had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Rebecca Brightman — “Becky” to her loved ones. She is such a delightful, smart, funny, beautiful human who lives in service to others, generation after generation.
Dr. Brightman is a Board Certified OBGYN in private practice in New York City since 1990. Her particular areas of interest include: the management of perimenopause, menopause, contraception, and prepregnancy counseling. She is a member of both the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and is also a NAMS certified menopause practitioner (NCMP). Dr. Brightman graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982 and received her Medical Degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 1986. She completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Dr. Brightman is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and is a Voluntary Attending at the Mount Sinai Hospital. She is also on the faculty of the Menopause Center at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Brightman has served on the advisory board of Women’s Day magazine and is frequently interviewed for popular print and web based material. She has discussed women’s health issues on NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’s The Morning Show, CBS Evening News, Fox’s The Morning Show, ABC’s World News Tonight, Yahoo’s The Shine, Katie’s Take with Katie Couric, The Katie Show, and The Dr. Oz Show. She has spoken at the 92nd Street Y, has been published in peer reviewed in journals as well as in Letters to the Editor of the New York Times. She has served on Advisory panels for TEVA Women’s Health and JDS Therapeutics and as a Women’s Health Expert for L’Oreal/Vichy Laboratoires, Proctor and Gamble-Clear Blue, Merck, and AbbVie. Dr. Brightman is also listed by Castle-Connolly as one of the top physicians in the New York Metro Area. She is married to an Ophthalmologist and has two college age sons. Her passions include: spending time with her family, friends, and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, as well as fitness, reading, and fashion.
Though her biography clearly shows her accomplishments and brilliance, what her bio doesn’t tell you is that she has just as much heart. Though her photo clearly shows how truly beautiful she is, what the photo doesn’t show you is that she is just as beautiful on the inside.
Dr. Brightman shared with the listeners the fact that she takes true joy in treating generation after generation of women from many of the same families. She says it is truly beautiful and meaningful that grandmothers send their daughters and granddaughters to her for their OBGYN care needs, a tender listening ear, and an overall warm, trusted relationship for life. She says it is so touching when she delivers a grandchild of a patient she has enjoyed for years.
To hear her story is educational and quite entertaining, as well. Too look at her, you’d think she started practicing medicine at the age of ten.
When asked who her most inspirational mentor was, she answered in her authentic form, that her mother — a strong, independent, hard-charging woman who went from teaching to being a very involved parent in leadership advocating for students in the school system. She said as much as she may not have appreciated the stringent guidance her mother afforded, she now knows how valuable that guidance was. As a result, she too managed to be independent and string all while raising two boys and caring for her husband, Bruce, also a medical doctor.
In my view, Dr. Brightman is the trifecta — wonderful wife, loving mother, and successful working women. She still takes the time — not has the time . but takes the time — to remember that self care is critical to caring for others. I know many professional women who need to learn this lesson, yours truly among them.
I asked Dr. Brightman what advice she might give other women to lift one another and she said, start with encouragement, encourage further, and end with encouragement. She feels as if in the 60s girls and women did not have the support as a global community that we do now. I agree.
Women like Dr. Brightman are incredible but they are not difficult to find in this day and age. Girls and women who need support can find it readily now whereas when she first started out, this was not the case.
I asked what she does for fun and she admitted that shoe shopping is her guilty pleasure. I laughed because I think many women might say the same. However, in her case, I get it. I truly do. The woman has worn a white lab coat to work for nearly 30 years — she can and should have a new pair of shoes for every day of the week if she wants! It’s her unique expression of self. I say go for it. Lastly, I was delighted to find she is an avid reader, book club member and all. When I asked what book she most recently read she replied, a memoir called, “Educated.”
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.
I have a keen interest in books so I am sure to buy and read, “Educated” soon. It was wonderful to learn that Dr. Brightman takes time out to read. In fact, she is part of a book club, doing what women do — communing, building and nurturing relationships. Reading takes us places when we do not have the time or means to travel. It’s on my list and I cannot wait.
I hope you will enjoy her terrific stories and her delightful laugh, as I did in the podcast.