Hatch Tribe Hero | Trish Hutchison
Our next Hatch Tribe Hero, Trish Hutchison, describes herself as an “ex-band-geek, valedictorian, turner catty sex-educator.” After a decade working as a private physician, she founded the Department of Adolescent Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina to focus on adolescent development and sexuality. Trish is a medical pioneer with her Girlology and Guyology programs, and she also makes time to do yoga, go boating and try culinary experiments in her South Carolina home. Between it all, she took time to talk to the Tribe about sex, anxiety, and how to be a servant leader.
What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
Working on my own timeline and being able to incorporate new ideas and thoughts when they happen...although sometimes my decisions aren’t in the best interest for the company financially!
My other favorite part is the diversity of the definition of success of an entrepreneur. Success can be identified as monetary success, success with socially making a difference, or just success as being an enjoyment with what you do everyday. My husband calls my business my “hobby,” but talking about awkward things is a really fun hobby! I hope to be making a difference by helping families have these conversations at home and to have them more frequently. If you can talk about sex, you can talk about anything!
What keeps you up at night?
ANXIETY! Either from my menopausal self or worries about a new Girlologist/Guyologist (that’s what we call physicians who are trained to lead our programs) taking on our curriculum and leading the parent-child programs in their communities. Yep, I admit I have founder’s syndrome, but I have slowly been letting it go. Our company currently has over 30 physicians leading the programs and it frees me up to do other things for the company, like work on new research.
What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
My frustration with having such little time during an office visit to talk about everything with patients (and parents), especially about important topics that involve emerging sexuality. These topics seem to be the most difficult for families because our culture surrounds these conversations with shame and embarrassment. As a physician, we have 15 to 20 minutes for a well visit and in that time, we need to take a history, do a physical exam and then talk about important medical, social, and emotional topics at the appropriate age level. It is virtually impossible to do this, and the sex conversations seem to be the one that is lacking the most.
Current research shows that pediatricians are not great at having conversations about sexuality. A recent study found that one-third of all adolescents had annual visits without any mention of sexuality issues; when sexuality talk occurred, it was brief. My business partner (and dear friend) Dr. Melisa Holmes and I would complain about time restrictions in the office to answer the many questions from our tweens and teens such as proper pubic hair hygiene, how to handle erections in school, tampon insertions, to “Do I have an STI”? We also got constant request from parents to have certain conversations with their children as well; these request usually came with an agenda to get a certain point or family value across to their child. We didn’t always understand why the parents couldn't bring up these topics at home, but soon realized that parents were searching for tools to have these conversations with their tweens and teens and their kids were starving to have them with trusted adults! So Girlology started as an extension of two busy clinical practices.
We created Girlology to educate and inspire adolescents and the people who care about them to build accurate knowledge, improve communications, grow in confidence, and choose healthy behaviors!
What personality trait are you most proud of?
Being flexible and fluid with business ideals, educational content issues, and methods of teaching. Just don't let my family know I said that, they probably wouldn't agree that I am so fluid.
In one word characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s cliche, but: Love what you do. It makes you smile while you work and that spreads positive energy to everyone around you.
What would you do with one extra hour in the day?
Walk outside, be on the water, or add those hours up and take trips around the world to see how other folks live their lives.
What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful business owner?
Being Flexible, being a servant leader, and using active listening skills to communicate effectively with others.
What book has inspired you the most?
Are you there God, It’s me Margaret by Judy Blume :)
Trish Hutchison, MD, FAAP
Co-Founder, Girlology & Guyology & Pediatrician
Trish Hutchison, MD, FAAP is an ex-band-geek, valedictorian, turned chatty sex-educator. She graduated from the College of Charleston and earned her MD at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). After completing her Pediatrics residency at Vanderbilt University, Trish returned to Charleston, where she was in private practice for 10 years and was a sought-after and trusted physician for adolescent girls and boys. She subsequently founded and directed a young women’s health center for the Department of Adolescent Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. As an expert on adolescent development, teen sexuality, and parenting, she has been listed among the Best Doctors in America.
Currently, in addition to leading Girlology and Guyology programs, she practices in the Student Health Center at the College of Charleston. Working in college health gives Trish more than enough exposure to the issues facing teens today. Her years of clinical practice, and her warm and non-judgmental approach have made her a highly trusted and respected physician among kids, college students, and parents alike. Additionally she provides the same level of care and concern as a medical mission team leader on regular trips to underserved countries. Trish and her family have developed a special connection with a village in Honduras where they deliver hope, empowerment and medical services.
When she’s not seeing patients or leading programs, Trish is helping to train other physicians to take Girlology and Guyology programs to their communities. She enjoys hanging out with like minded folks and also just being social. Outside of work, Trish spends time boating, spinning, attempting basic yoga poses, and creating new dishes in the kitchen with her two teen daughters and her husband in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.