Forty under 40 Q&A: Mary Coenen Raven
(Photos by Amy Martin)
Mary Coenen Raven, 39
Associate Medical Director, Palliative Medicine Service, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
- Opened the first outpatient palliative care clinic in the Louisiana.
- Assisted with amending the Medical Consent Statute to allow incapacitated patients without family to receive appropriate medical treatments including high-quality end of life care.
- Medical director for Notre Dame Hospice and associate medical director for Hospice of Baton Rouge.
- Obtained board certifications in three fields: Internal Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Hospice Medical Directorship.
Works at Volunteer Health Clinic in Mid City, and with the Department of Corrections to provide educational opportunities for physicians.
NAME ONE BOOK THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU PROFESSIONALLY.
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
I always wanted to be a doctor.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB, HOW OLD WERE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
I taught swimming lessons to toddlers when I was 12-years-old. I learned that toddlers are not great swimmers!
WHAT IS THE STRANGEST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD?
The strangest job I ever had was in a genetics lab at LSU. I spent my days grinding down starfish legs to analyze their DNA. After lots of work, we found that it was all contaminated with human DNA, so lab work is clearly not my strong suit.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH IN BATON ROUGE, AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DISH THERE?
The gnocchi at Beausoleil.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Being able to have a great marriage and family while also being able to work in my chosen field.
HOW DO YOU GET PUMPED UP BEFORE A BIG MEETING, PRESENTATION OR PITCH?
Preparation. I usually subject my kids to having to listen to me practice my presentation.
HOW DO YOU TYPICALLY DRESS FOR WORK: CASUAL? PROFESSIONAL? BUSINESS CASUAL? OTHER?
Scrubs…so, casual I guess.
WHAT IS THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN FROM A COLLEAGUE OR BOSS?
“I’m glad you’re part of the team.”
MAC OR PC?
ARE YOU ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA? IF SO, ON WHICH PLATFORMS ARE YOU MOST ACTIVE?
HOW MANY TEXTS DO YOU SEND ON AN AVERAGE DAY? HOW MANY EMAILS?
Texts: 30; emails: 10.
HOW LOW WILL YOU ALLOW YOUR REMAINING PHONE OR COMPUTER BATTERY LIFE GET (IN %) BEFORE YOU HAVE AN ANXIETY ATTACK?
HOW MANY UNREAD MESSAGES ARE IN YOUR INBOX RIGHT NOW?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE APP AT THE MOMENT?
I should probably say the EPIC MyChart app at The Lake, but the Amazon app is a close second.
WHAT TIME DO YOU GET UP ON WORKDAY MORNINGS?
BREAKFAST AT HOME? BREAKFAST ON THE GO? BREAKFAST AT YOUR DESK? NO BREAKFAST AT ALL?
WHAT WAS THE BEST VACATION YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN?
A family trip to Puerto Rico two years ago with my husband and kids.
A nice dry French Rose’.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BAND OR SONG?
Blue Sky by the Allman Brothers Band.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
This is a tie between Gladiator and Rocky IV.
We have an Australian Shepherd named Sophie. She’s awesome.
I love to cook.
TELL US ABOUT A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE.
Becoming a mom…a game changer!
WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG PERSONAL OR CAREER CHALLENGE YOU PLAN TO TAKE ON?
Providing support to the new Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic run by Lake Physician Group.
WHAT CONCERNS YOU MOST ABOUT THE FUTURE?
The fact that our politics have made us such a polarized environment. It seems to be pitting us against one another, which can’t be productive.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR FUTURE FORTY UNDER 40 HONOREES?
Keep a sense of humor, don’t take yourself to seriously, stay humble and eager to learn from others, but always try to find a way to promote harmony with the people you meet.
DO YOU PLAN TO BE IN THE CAPITAL REGION FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Yes. I grew up in Rayville and moved to Baton Rouge for college. I still say I’m from Rayville when people ask, but Baton Rouge is now home and where my husband and I want to raise our children.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN BATON ROUGE; WHAT WORKS AND WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT?
I’d describe our overall quality of life in Baton Rouge as good with a lot of potential (or good and heading in the right direction). LSU is a great asset. Our healthcare and medical research organizations are nationally recognized. Like many, I’d love to see a better functioning public school system that the entire community supports.
DO YOU HAVE A BUCKET LIST? IF SO, WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 THINGS ON IT?
- Keep my family healthy, both spiritually and physically.
- See my children receive a good education and grow to be able to support themselves.
- Become the best physician I can be.
- Travel more (when we can find time!).