Mother of 5 followed her dream and now heads the ER at St. Vincent hospital

Mother of 5 followed her dream and now heads the ER at St. Vincent hospital

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A local doctor who’s been practicing medicine for 40 years is persuading others to go for what they want.

For the last eight years, Dr. Carla O’Day has been the head of the emergency department at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. “I graduated from college, got married at 21, was doing audiology, and it was just not satisfying,” said O’Day. She went on to say, “I just wanted to be a doctor.”

At 34 years old, she made the decision to pursue her dream and attend medical school.

Her youngest of five children was in kindergarten. “My oldest daughter was really helpful with the younger kids and I would study at night down by the washer. If they needed me, I was there, they’d come down. I would help with homework,” said O’Day.

Dr. O’Day’s story is similar to Carol’s.story on the CBS sitcom, “Carol’s Second Act,” starring Cleveland native Patricia Heaton.

The difference is Carol made the career switch at 50, with no young children. O’Day said, “I needed to make sure that I made it to the Girl Scout meetings, the Cub Scouts and those kinds of things.

O’Day admits her original career choice was to be an actress on Broadway. One of her highlights is inspiring her granddaughter to study medicine.

O’Day sees herself on the job for several more years, maybe even working with her granddaughter on another goal. “If there’s a magic way if we could do something about dementia that we have with hearts and with stroke, it would be amazing,” said O’Day.

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