Leila M. August, MD
I speak: English
My gender: Female
This provider requires a referral
Where I practice
I grew up in a very small town outside Birmingham Alabama. I worked my way through my undergrad years as a silkscreen artist, waitress/bartender, pet store manager, in retail, and finally as a software systems engineer on NASA's Spacelab project. I was working on software that monitored medical experiments aboard the space shuttle, when I decided to go to medical school. I found that each job, as well as raising two children, contributed insight into what I was studying, and I decided to go into family medicine. After several years of private practice, I began covering hospice call on weekends. This ultimately led to working full time in hospice and palliative medicine and pursuing additional board certification.
About my practice
When I tell someone I work with hospice, I usually get one of two responses: "Wow, that must be hard," or "That takes a special person." I guess both of those statements are true, but the way I think of it is that I get to provide the most physical and emotional comfort to people, both patients and their caregivers, when they need it the most. My favorite story is about a gentleman who asked me "What happens after I die?" I panicked and blurted "Let me call you a chaplain!" He chuckled and replied, "No dear, I mean what happens with my body?" After I relaxed and told him about the process, he said "Oh thank goodness, someone who will admit I'm dying. My family refuses to let me talk about it — all they do is pat me on the hand and say ‘You don't worry about that. You just think about getting better.’ I'm not getting better, and I have things I need to take care of before I die. I'm so glad you're going to help me through it!"
How I thrive
Working for hospice means you have to take care of yourself, physically and mentally, or it can get overwhelming. I am a Yoga Alliance 200-hour yoga teacher, and I try to practice as often as I can. I also love to walk and hike. Both my husband and I love to read, and we often listen to audiobooks together when we travel. I enjoy escaping into a movie, or a PBS series on TV. But sometimes I just flop down and watch mindless sitcoms! I'm also a sucker for kids jumping rope or running laps to raise money for their school.