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Leilani Mason, MSN, CNM, FACNM

Mason Spotlight

MasonIn my first year as a Certified Nurse-Midwife I remember thinking I had found a career I would be happy spending my life with. Now, almost 2 decades later, I can say my career has exceeded my expectations. After graduating from Marquette University I worked in private practice. During this time I became a clinical preceptor for midwifery students and discovered a latent love of teaching. After several years I accepted an academic position at the Medical College of WI. There, I found one-to-one teaching of medical students and residents in ambulatory and inpatient setting to be immensely rewarding. Imparting knowledge and skills to the next generation of physicians from a midwifery wellness paradigm is particularly important since most obstetric patients are young, health women experiencing a sentinel life event, not under going treatment of illness. While some women may have high risk pregnancies, I believe the human aspect of becoming a mother should not be superseded by attention to comorbid medical conditions. 


I joined the VUMC faculty in 2009. I was drawn here because of the expanded role CNMs had as primary attendings for residents managing labor patients on L&D. I accepted the position because of the genuine collegiality I observed between the physicians, CNMs, and nurses in the department. I have continued to provide direct care to patients at the Center for Women's Health at OHO 2-3 days a week. My work with immigrant women has been particularly rewarding. My interest in teaching has not waned at all. On the contrary, I find teaching piques my academic curiosity and keeps me up to date. I became the director of the low risk obstetric curriculum for our interns in 2015. I meet the new PGY1 class each July 1st at our OB boot camp. It's a full day of teaching the basics of caring for a laboring woman and delivering a baby. It's one of my favorite days each year and I always look forward to it. During the year I work elbow to elbow with the interns on L&D and in clinic. I offer formative feedback after each activity and track their ongoing progress through the curricula. During the last 2 years I have become a coordinator for simulated learning at the Center for Experiential Learning. The use high fidelity medical mannequins combined with didactic material gives learners a chance to practice caring for patients with acute conditions in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Since beginning the program, our residents have demonstrated an improved ability to manage patients experiencing significant events such a hemorrhage, eclamptic seizure, thyroid storm, DKA, and cardiac arrest among others.


Over the years I have been active in my professional organization, the American College of Nurse-Midwives. I have spoken at numerous meetings, served as president of our regional affiliate, and am the current chair of the Medical Education Caucus. They year I have been honored to be elected to Fellowship in the ACNM. As a Fellow I look forward to mentoring junior members in the College as they begin their life's work with women.

In my free time I enjoy reading historic fiction, remodeling and redecorating my home, and most especially, spoiling my grandson.