Occupational Therapist, Guest Writer, Influencer
Mary Osborne has been working as an Occupational Therapist in Austin, Texas. She is a Guest Writer and Influencer for Aeroflow Urology. She is certified in Teepa Snows Positive Approach to Care as a PAC Certified Independent Consultant. Mary owns her own consulting company in Austin and writes for the Your Dementia Therapist blog.
Getting to Know Aleece Fosnight
What is a typical day like for you?
Each day is so different and that is one of the things that I love about my job. It isn’t seeing the same patient or just doing basic office visits. It can range from pelvic exam, procedures (urodynamics or cystoscopy, etc), education on normal urogenital anatomy, sex counseling, or first-assisting in surgery. I love the variety each day! I typically call patients back at the end of the day when I know I can spend more time talking with them about their questions or test results.
What made you get into this field of medicine?
This is actually a great story. It all started with a Viagra commercial.
I was talking with my mom on my cell phone trying to decide what topic I wanted to research for my Physician Assistant Program Master’s thesis when a Viagra commercial came on the television. I immediately said to her, “That’s what I should do! If there is a blue pill for men, there has to be a pink pill for women.” Well….at that time….there was ZERO! And I was irate and it set off a fire in my belly to find out why we didn’t have any treatments yet.
When I was researching for my paper, all sexual medicine falls under urology, which was something I completely didn’t expect. I would have thought male sexual medicine fell under urology and female sexual medicine would fall under gynecology. Surprisingly, gynecologists receive very little training on women’s sexual health, and although urology includes sexual health, it focuses more on men’s sexual health. As I researched, my passion for sexual medicine grew.
It all started with a viagra commercial.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel abroad to England for a urogynecology rotation during my clinical year to expand my knowledge of sexual medicine and also attended the World Association for Sexual Health conference in Glasgow, Scotland during that same time.
This opened my mind and I got excited to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive rights that we discuss very little in the healthcare world, but has a HUGE impact on our life from birth to death.
A urologist I worked with when I was in high school reached out to me before I completed my PA studies to see if I would be interested in working with him and focusing on female urology and female sexual health. I couldn’t pass that opportunity up! And besides, it was back in my hometown.
Starting out, I needed general urology knowledge so I saw everything from a urinary tract infection to kidney stones to prostate cancer.
Over that first year, I fell in love with urology and talking about issues that are embarrassing, helping to reassure patients that they are not alone and validating their concern.
But I wanted more...and applied to the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program where I was accepted into their program and received my postgraduate certificate in sexuality counseling and education. This added a whole new level of care I could provide to my patients. Being able to bring a biopsychosocial approach to taking care of urology concerns has been instrumental in improving my patient’s healthcare, from head-to-toe.
What is your favorite part about your job?
Helping my patient’s recognize their true self through self recognition and acceptance. It's about celebrating the small successes and moving forward in a positive direction.
Providing a safe space for my patients to unload their concerns and worries, while validating them through education and knowledge on what is happening to their body. I love talking about taboo and stigmatized topics, helping to shed some light on the importance of how we function.