Dr. Leah J. Dickstein

For six years, Leah Dickstein taught sixth grade in Brooklyn, to help support her family while her husband, Herbert Dickstein, attended medical school.

After he had completed his training, Leah Dickstein enrolled in medical school, and the couple came up with a range of strategies to balance the responsibilities of caring for their three children while building their careers.

Leah Dickstein had a clear sense of her own priorities, and so Saturdays and summers were saved for family activities, which she considered more important than graduating at the top of her class.

Dr. Herbert Dickstein brought the boys to the hospital to visit Dr. Leah Dickstein when she was on call during her residency. Over the years, she developed other ways to cope with the everyday challenges of combining a career in medicine with family life. Those experiences led her to develop an innovative program to teach medical students and their partners how to cope with the demands of medical school—while maintaining their relationships and family commitments.

Since 1981 she has been the Director of the Health Awareness Workshop. Her program addresses everything from study skills and time management to community resources, mentoring, exercise, and nutrition. The message is that students must take care of their own physical and mental health before they can learn to take care of others.

Dr. Leah Dickstein’s work has made the University of Louisville one of the most family-friendly medical colleges in the nation.