Marie Audett is new to Maine. While Marie and her family moved to Maine relatively recently (last year), her impact is already big. As a skilled surgeon at Maine Medical Center, Marie is on the front lines of our community's health as both a physician and a thought leader on how to provide the best patient care.
My name is Marie Audett. Personally, I want to be known as a great wife, mother, daughter and friend. Even though I am very busy with work as a colorectal surgeon at Maine Medical Center, I work tirelessly to maintain a solid work-life balance and be present for my family and friends. Professionally, I want to be known as a compassionate, thoughtful and technically skilled surgeon. I am far from perfect, but I really try to take my time with all of my patients and treat them like I would a family member.
When I think of Maine and Portland, the first word that comes to mind is beautiful! The scenery here is absolutely gorgeous – especially this time of year when the leaves are changing color. The outdoor scene here was one of the biggest draws to move here with my family.
Who is the Mainer who most inspires you (past or present)?
I don’t know a whole lot of Mainers yet since we only moved here a year ago. But one of my biggest inspirations is actually my neighbor, Rebecca Harvey. She’s originally from the Rockport/Camden area and now lives across the street from me. She’s low-key brilliant in absolutely everything she does. She’s a talented musician, athlete, and fellow physician at Maine Med working in ENT. She also has a great family and is juggling her busy schedule with taking care of three absolutely adorable and energetic young kids at home. I love how she has come back to Maine to provide high-quality care in her home state. And I also love that she is incredibly humble and would be MORTIFIED by me writing this. She’s one of the most amazing women I have ever met, and I don’t think she even realizes how badass she is.
What are the biggest challenges that you see in Portland and Maine?
I think there are a couple of things going on that I see as big challenges right now in Maine, but specifically related to my job – I think we’re really struggling in the medical community right now. The COVID pandemic has really changed the landscape of healthcare here, and we are so busy right now at Maine Medical Center (and at other institutions throughout the area) because we are taking care of such sick and complex patients. I think part of that is related to the shortage of workers in the medical field – not just physicians, but also nurses, technicians, nursing assistants, people working in transport – you name it. We are seeing a lot of patients with advanced pathology come through our doors because they just haven’t been able to get in to their doctor’s office in a timely fashion – and that just breaks my heart. I look forward to starting to work more with leadership in doing my part to find creative solutions to provide the best care possible.
What are our greatest assets?
I would have to say, hands down, the people! My husband and I have moved around a fair amount, and we have never felt so welcome as we have when moving here. I joke that my biggest problem moving here was that my neighbors are so friendly that we couldn’t even get unpacked because we kept having people drop by to introduce themselves or drop off some treats. Beyond my wonderful neighbors, I have absolutely incredible co-workers, colleagues and patients here who are such solid people. I love the grit that people from Maine exhibit, while also just being really down-to-earth and friendly.
How would you like to see Portland and Maine changed 5 years from now?
I would love to see it continue to be how it is! I hope there remain large parts of Maine where there is untouched beauty, I hope the food scene remains as delicious as always, and I hope the people remain true to their roots.
I think the one thing that we could work towards would be battling the crippling drug addiction, mental illness, and homelessness crisis that we are facing in so many other parts of the country as well. It’s a tough balance in terms of making policies that both are compassionate and hold people accountable for their actions – I am glad there are people smarter than I am working to find a solution.
What are your favorite spots - local restaurant / brewery / store?
That is a very tough call – there are so many great options! I think my favorite restaurants are Evo (anybody who knows me has heard me speak endlessly about how delicious their carrots are) and the Garrison in Yarmouth. My favorite brewery is Goodfire - very kid friendly, cool outdoor space, good beer and great food. I wish I spent enough leisurely time that I have a favorite store – but most of my weekends are spent with my two young kids and husband. Maybe as my kids get older I can spend more time poking around downtown and I’ll have an answer for you then!
What's your favorite outdoor spot?
This is very cliché – but I love nothing more than grabbing a lobster roll from Bite into Maine at the Portland Headlight. I’ve been there at least a dozen times and the beauty never gets old. We recently finally made it up to Acadia – also a very touristy answer – but we spent a long weekend on the Schoodic peninsula and were amazed!
What makes women’s leadership unique? How can Maine women work together to create impact?
I think that ultimately, men and women can absolutely both be fantastic leaders. That being said – I think there are some innate qualities that many women possess that set them up to be naturally talented leaders. I think women have an amazing ability to just Get. Shit. Done. They are so used to balancing their home life and work life, and I think they are just so good at being organized and efficient. I also think women are great listeners and very compassionate. We are also used to compromising – a skill that is absolutely necessary to lead a group.
Why did you decide to make Maine home?
I saw this job posting when I was looking for new opportunities in the field of colorectal surgery. I was looking for a place where I could take care of complicated patients, continue to teach our next generation of physicians, and make a wonderful home for my family with good friends and great schools. I love spending time outdoors, so Maine really drew me in with its rocky coastline. My husband and I have been having a west coast-east coast battle for years, since I'm from Rhode Island and he's from Washington state. When this opportunity to move to Maine came up, I felt like it was the best of both worlds, where we could both have a whole lot of what we’re looking for. We had a few great weekends coming up here to interview and check out the scene, and after just a few days, I was sold. I mean, when you’ve got the queen of Yarmouth herself – Miss Heather Shields – as your realtor, it’s easy to see how you’d get excited about moving here. It doesn’t hurt that my kids are surrounded by New England Patriots fans either – although we do cheer for the Seahawks as well to keep daddy happy 😉