Trantham: Be organized or be overwhelmed

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dr. Pam Trantham found irony in her role Wednesday afternoon as she stood to speak to the participants gathered for The Female Factor luncheon.

“It’s almost comical that they asked me to speak to you today because my life is in more disorder than it ever has been,” she joked.

Trantham, who practices family medicine with her husband Dr. Todd Pearlstein in Troy, was the speaker for the second Female Factor program hosted by Troy Regional Medical Center. The Female Factor launched in August, with a program on communication skills and, for the second month in a row, the scheduled speaker had to cancel because of a medical emergency.

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Trantham agreed to step up and share her insights on organization, or as she put it, being “organized, overwhelmed or oblivious.”

“A type-A person needs to be organized,” she said, “If they’re not, they are overwhelmed by the details. A person who is not type-A is totally oblivious and totally happy without organization.”

Trantham, a self-described type-A personality, offered her insights on intentional organization, and why it is important. “You can’t do everything and you’re going to have to choose what you can do,” she said. “In my office, I deal with folks all the time who are stressed out and there’s a common theme: somewhere along the line we’ve taken on a sense of universal obligation … that we have to be responsible for everybody else in our life. I call this the ‘I don’t have to organize everybody’s life’ syndrome.’”

The key for women of all ages is to learn that they have a “realm of responsibility,” whether in marriage, motherhood, work or within a family. “That is realm which we should operate in,” she said. “We should not operate in someone else’s realm.”

Trantham offered the example of mothers, like herself, who often try to organize and take care of their children’s lives, even into young adulthood. “If I don’t reign in this need to organize their life, they won’t learn how to do it.”

And, she added, “we actually handicap the people around us if we operate outside our own realm. That’s a pretty sobering thought.”

In addition to the organization advice, Trantham spent time answering questions from the nearly 70 women gathered for the luncheon on a range of issues, from scheduling medical checkups to changes in medical guidelines for women’s health issues.

“This was a good program,” said Roxie Kitchens, one of the attendees.

The Female Factor is offered the second Wednesday of each month at The Studio in downtown Troy by TRMC and its sponsor partners. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are required. For more information about the Oct. 12 program, which will include a panel of physicians discussing medical issues, contact Troy Regional Medical Center at 670-5487.