“Balance and boundaries” are topics of expertise for Dr. Janis Blair (83). As an M.D. specializing in infectious diseases and transplantation, a wife, a mother of two, and a devoted Christian, Janis lives a “marathon lifestyle.”
On a typical day, she wakes up at 5 a.m. for her morning devotions and prayers before heading out to her 5:30 a.m. swim practice. By 8 a.m., she’s racing to the hospital to meet with patients until 5 p.m. when she returns work-related phone calls and e-mails. By 6:30, she’s home for dinner but on occasion she is back at the office by 8 p.m. She tries to be in bed by 9:30.
When she’s on call, Janis works an 84-hour week. When she isn’t, she works three days a week; during her four days “off,” she spends her time researching and writing papers. In fact, Janis has more than 50 published works.
And that’s not all. Janis has dedicated her profession and her life to helping people everywhere. For vacation, she goes on mission trips. Recently, in Kenya and Tanzania, Janis educated and worked alongside AIDS caregivers.
Janis recalls always wanting to be a doctor. The challenge to become a female doctor – which was an oddity at the time – drove her to finish at the top of her class every time.
“Balance is always a struggle,” she said. “I really like what I do, even though it is physically hard. After God, family is the most important thing. I had to realize that work will never be gone. I also realized that people always want more… sometimes you have to look at where your priorities lie.”
As a mother, a wife, a doctor, and a committed Christian, endurance is not the only key to finishing the day. Janis’ faithful “God time” trumps any other obligations. She makes it a point to “walk with Him everyday,” through each step of her daily marathon.
Janis and her husband, Gordon (84), have two sons, Michael, 16, and Ryan, 13.