Dr. Wideman Takes Work-Life Balance in Stride

Jan 6, 2016 | Staff Stories

Whatever it was, J.D. Wideman’s inclination to pursue her career in health care started at an early age. “When I was eight years old, I would walk around telling people that I wanted to go into medicine and go to Brown University,” she says. “No one really knows why, including me, because I often thought I’d be an author or an English teacher. Plus, I didn’t go to Brown!”

Far from it, in fact. Originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho, Wideman’s pursuit of becoming a doctor had her literally crisscrossing the country. She initially headed west to study biology and literature at San Francisco State University before backtracking to Illinois to study medicine at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Then, it was on to Michigan where she completed her residency.

As someone who enjoys solving problems for people, Wideman believes going into medicine was a natural fit. “I love healing people, especially if I can minimize the use of drugs and medicines in that process,” she says. “I enjoy being a part of their lives and sharing in their stories. It’s very rewarding.”

To keep up with the demands of being a physician and a mother of four, Wideman keeps her mind and her body in shape by pursuing yet another passion—running.

“I think my love of running actually started when I would sprint to catch up with my dad, a hunter, out on the trails. Then I played soccer all through high school, which is all about running. After I quit playing soccer, though, I just started running for fun.”

“I think my love of running actually started when I would sprint to catch up with my dad, a hunter, out on the trails,” reflects Wideman. “Then I played soccer all through high school, which is all about running. After I quit playing soccer, though, I just started running for fun.”

She must have enjoyed it because one mile led to miles (plural), which led to training for 26.2 miles on more than one occasion, including the Chicago marathon. Naturally, once she moved to Colorado, she added trail running to the mix, although she’s mostly into road running these days. “I still do a little trail running, like at Horsetooth Reservoir or on Towers Road,” she says. “But there is a little bit of ‘mom guilt’ just because it takes so much time.”

Ah, yes. Balancing motherhood and keeping up with her own family of six with caring for other people’s families as their physician poses its own unique set of challenges. “Our youngest, Ty—we call him ‘Mr. Baby’—can be a real handful. We used to do ‘Mr. Baby checks’ every two minutes or so, but lately it only takes about 30 seconds for him to get into a perilous situation!”

“I do spend a lot of time with my family going on walks, taking trips to local ski areas, you know…the stuff that makes living in Northern Colorado so great,” she says. “Plus, we’re a hockey and field sports family, so we always try to make those trips fun. Hey, as long as there’s a pool and a buffet, what more do you need, right?”

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