Robin Curry: Fierce Advocate for Women of All Ages

July 1, 2018

 

When I started my job at Norton three years ago I had never met Robin but I had heard that she was a huge proponent of the female athlete and that was information that made me want to meet her immediately. I was thrilled when she accepted my invite for lunch and we soon realized that being, at that time, the only two women working in our Sports Health department would not be the only thing that bonded us. There was no question I wanted her to be the inaugural “Women Do Amazing Things” subject for the Women Do blog. Robin was both kind and brave enough to let me sit down and interview her (my first interview ever!).

Robin Curry is a non-operative sports medicine physician for Norton Sports Health but that is only part of who she is; she is also a fierce advocate for females, a mother, a wife, and one of the hardest working women in Louisville.
 
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I am a non-operative sports medicine physician in an orthopedic practice where I am the only female physician in my group. I think that makes me unique and allows me to approach some issues in a different manner, especially when it comes to women.

I am married to Rob and he has been a great support and partner to me. We are equals in the professional, personal, and parenting life and I truly don’t think I could have accomplished all the things I have without him by my side. We have three amazing daughters all under the age of 3, which as you can imagine keeps me busy, keeps me tired, and keeps me moving. They also give me a new perspective as they grow. I want them to be healthy and it makes me care even more about the younger generation and providing preventative education and treatment, especially in regards to sports. 
 
Would you tell young women to pursue a career as sports medicine physician?
Absolutely. Women tend to be really good listeners and you need to have that skill to be able to break down all the outside and internal forces that can go in to an injury.  
 
What are you most passionate about? 
Female athletes and women in general. I believe I bring a different perspective, being a female myself, to treating these patients. I understand the medical issues that encompass a female’s lifetime and that makes me relatable. Some of the issues that women bring up in my office, completely unrelated to their injury, is something that they don’t always do with my male colleagues and we work to treat those issues as well.

Running. This has stayed with me since such a young age that it feels like part of my identity. It also helps me understand the female athlete mindset. I have been lucky enough to be able to combine my love for running and my career; we do a lot of work with these types of athletes in my practice.
 
What are the difficulties associated with being a woman in your career?
I truly love my work with the Norton Sports Health team but there are times that being the only female physician can be difficult. There are certain things they will never experience or can’t understand. Dealing with maternity leave, for example, and then returning to work after having a baby is obviously something they can’t relate to. I can’t ask them how they handled the load, not to mention physical side effects with having a baby. But the best thing for me I have found is the continued relationship with my friends and my community of female physicians who I can reach out to and have those discussions with. 
 
Best Advice for Female Athletes/Active Women:
1)      Stay active throughout your life
2)      Do something you enjoy. Don’t just do something because you think you have to.
3)      Find a community
4)      Don’t let an injury stop you from doing what you love. 

Best body positive advice:
As females we need to learn to appreciate our bodies at different points in our lives a little better. It is important to know that our bodies will change over time. Where our body is compared to high school and our twenties versus what it will look like as we get older or if we have kids will continue to evolve. Appreciate all those different stages in your life and don’t feel like there is only one perfect body type for you. We are all different. We will all age. Of course all these life events will happen to us and they change us but we are all beautiful. 

 
What is your ultimate career goal?
I would love to have a Women’s Sports Medicine Clinic here in Louisville where we can provide an all-encompassing approach to the female athlete including a physician, physical therapist, athletic trainer, sports psychologist, and sports nutritionist. 
 
Worst Career Advice:
That you can’t have it all (Robin actually tears up as she answers this question). 
I have heard this too often and I don’t believe it is true. I have been told too many times that something would suffer either my career, my husband, or my children and that is an extremely unfair restraint that we put on women, men do not hear the same thing. 
 
Best Career Advice:
Find something you are passionate about. 
The patients in my practice remind me how passionate I am about this career and how much I truly love helping people. In the medical field, especially for physicians, there has been an increase in bureaucracy and paperwork which can lead to a lot of frustration but having daily interactions with my patients continues to make it all worth it and remind me why I love what I do. 
 
Favorite Sports Team:
University of Kentucky Wildcats
 
If people could use only three words to describe you what do you hope they would be?
Kind, Ambitious, Loyal
 

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