As reported by the Hartford Business Journal, October 27, 2009.

Physician Interrupted Career to Start Family

Erica Hammer is living proof that one can be in medicine and have a life. She took off time after the birth of her son to be home with him. "It came at exactly right time and I needed to be there to be a mom," said Hammer.

"The people I work with are great. The staff and nurses are great," said Hammer.

It's appropriate that Hammer has chosen a career as an ob-gyn hospitalist. She intentionally went for her M.D. because she wanted to be around people. "I was always very interested in science and excelled there. I looked at either a Ph.D. or an M.D. I wanted the people interaction. I didn't want to be in a lab. I like all the different aspects of it," she said during a recent phone interview as her 1-year old played contentedly in the background.

The new mom likes obstetrics because it is a medical practice where she usually sees patients in good health celebrating a joyous time in their lives. Hammer concedes there are moments of crisis for some parents. "It is usually a very happy field. It's unusual in medicine that not every patient is sick when they come to see you."

She said there is more to obstetrics than just delivering babies. Hammer is also interested in the surgical aspects that can become part of it. "It has the benefits of primary care with the opportunity to do surgery," she added.

Hammer and her husband settled on West Hartford because it is hometown. "We just kind of enjoy the area," said Hammer. "There are so many benefits to living here. We decided to stick around."

In addition to seeing patients in the Charlotte Johnson Hollfelder Center for Women's Health on Monday and Tuesday evenings, Hammer is an ob-gyn hospitalist. Hospitalists are physicians who treat admitted patients.

Hammer completed her residency training at the UConn Health Center and is now an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the UConn School of Medicine. Her medical doctorate is from the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

When not making rounds or teaching, Hammer likes to unwind outdoors with her husband, who happens to be her college sweetheart from Trinity and also a doctor. Popular among their pursuits is spending time at her parents' home along Lake Champlain in Vermont. "We hand off our child and go for a sail," said Hammer, 33. "It's the ultimate relaxation."