Love is in the air at Cedars-Sinai, where dozens of married couples are also colleagues. Some couples work closely together while others spend their days in completely different locations.
What’s it like to work with your significant other? We sat down with a few of Cedars-Sinai’s married couples to find out.
Dr. Ruchi Mathur and Dr. Mark Pimentel
They came to LA together after meeting in medical school and will celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary this year.
The pair works closely as collaborators in the MAST Program, where their research is focused on better understanding the microbiome. Their goal is to improve care for patients with gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases.
Read: Is It IBS or IBD?
When their kids were young, they had a rule that they had to be home for dinner and bedtime every night.
Now the empty-nesters have a harder time separating work and home, but they see it as a positive.
“We do bring a lot of work home these days, but we like to take weekend getaways and make time for other things,” says Dr. Pimentel. “We’re discovering things that can help patients and we’re excited about our work.”
“At some point medicine isn’t just a career anymore, it becomes a mission,” Dr. Mathur adds. “It’s not a chore to talk about our work. It’s stimulating and exciting.”
In Discoveries: Married to the Microbiome
What’s their advice for couples working together?
“Every relationship is different, but if you respect your spouse in their role at work and respect each other’s roles at home, that can help things,” says Dr. Mathur.
Ryan Duff and Jose Gomez
Ryan Duff and Jose Gomez have been married for 5 years. Ryan works in the marketing department as a call center specialist, while Jose works in operations as an executive assistant.
Their work doesn’t often overlap, but they do interact with many of the same people. And while they work in different physical locations, the pair carpools to and from work each day.
They say the pros of working together outweigh any drawbacks.
“We can talk and really understand what the other one is going through in their work day, and that’s a nice perk of working at the same place as your spouse,” says Jose.
But Ryan says it’s important to maintain healthy boundaries, too.
“It’s easy to blur the line between work and home, so once we get out of the car at the end of the day, we switch into personal time,” Ryan says. “We don’t like talking about work at home.”
Jennifer Elad, NP and Dr. Yaron Elad
Nurse practitioner Jennifer Elad and her husband, cardiologist Dr. Yaron Elad have been married for 18 years. While the pair work in separate departments, they find a lot of value in working together at Cedars-Sinai.
“We understand the demands and commitment needed as healthcare providers. We view our roles and contributions through similar lenses that allow us to support each other,” says Jennifer, who co-developed the Center for the Undiagnosed Patient.
“I think there’s a natural understanding we have for each other and that creates a unique partnership through being here together.”
Dr. Elad has been at Cedars-Sinai for 19 years. Jennifer joined him in 2005 and then again in 2013 after taking time off to raise the couple’s two boys. She came to the hospital in part because she felt a strong connection to its Jewish roots.
“The same Jewish values that built Cedars-Sinai frame our life,” she says. “Its mission and values are fluid with everything we do. It just felt natural to be here.”
When asked if they saw any drawbacks to working together, the couple said they didn’t.
Despite their busy work lives, they still find time for outside pursuits that include their family, community, and traveling.
“We enjoy working together,” says Dr. Elad. “We have each other as a sounding board, which is great.”