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During this season of love, and with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, we tell the story of a truly inspirational couple in the UAB Heersink School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine: Hanna Hussey, M.D., and Patrick Hussey, M.D.

In the fast-paced environment of health care, demanding careers often dictate life’s rhythm. For the Husseys, their journey began in residency at Columbia University where they met in July of their intern year. By the following September, the couple headed to Las Vegas to officially tie the knot in a drive-thru wedding ceremony.

Relationships, like showbiz in Vegas, isn’t always glitz and glamour, though. The couple, along with the rest of the world, faced unexpected times in March 2020. Amidst the chaos of the pandemic beginning, Hanna Hussey gave birth to their first child. The new family of three—both still in residency—braved a 22-hour drive from New York City to Birmingham, Alabama, with hardly any stops. Separated for the remainder of their residencies and fearing the uncertainty in the world, they took turns finishing their academic duties at Columbia, taking care of a newborn, and settling into a new life and home in Birmingham.

IMG 6284Once their residencies were complete, both delved into fellowships within the department, with Hanna Hussey specializing in obstetrics (OB) anesthesia and Patrick Hussey in cardiovascular (CV) anesthesia. The intersection of their expertise has led to multiple collaborations on OB-CV cases, and their clinical interests have created a special place in their hearts for the OB-CV patient population. Coming up, they will sit on an OB-CV panel together at the International Anesthesia Research Society’s Annual Meeting in May.

With a 2-year-old and 3-year-old at home, it goes without saying that the Husseys have quite a bit of hustle and bustle in their lives. Juggling the responsibilities of being anesthesiologists, parents, and partners pose daily challenges. The questions of who's on call, who's cooking dinner, and whether they will get to eat together have become part of their daily routines. Occasionally, they have “date-night” as they pass each other in the hospital hall coming on and off call. Mornings can also prove challenging, with schools and daycares opening later than the demands of their profession. For the couple, they found support in a reliable nanny and a crucial support system who help them manage their busy lives.

"We have to pick and choose what is important to us, and then we go from there,” the Husseys say. “In the words of Elsa, we have to 'Let it go!'" This mindset is the cornerstone of their resilience, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing their children and each other amid life's chaos.

Their story is a testament to the delicate balance of love, career, and family, reminding us that even in the demanding world of medicine, the strength of a solid partnership can withstand the trials and tribulations that come its way.

As more young physicians choose to “couple match” for their residencies, Hanna Hussey and Patrick Hussey share the importance of being a united force.

“Understanding how your partner manages stress during trials and tribulations makes you realize you just have to pick and choose your battles and prioritize what’s important. For us, it was our kids,” Hanna Hussey says.

Since their fellowships, Hanna Hussey and Patrick Hussey have both joined the department’s faculty full time and taken on leadership roles. Patrick Hussey has been appointed to director of scheduling, while Hanna Hussey feeds into the next generation of physicians as the associate program director for the department’s OB fellowship and will further her international expertise with a CV fellowship starting in July, here at UAB.

The Hussey team is truly an inspiration and a testament to the positive impact of a healthy partnership, resiliency, and hard work.