Why did you decide to go into the women’s health care field?
I fell in love with the field of women’s health because of the broad spectrum of obstetrics and gynecology that included everything from urgent surgery to preventative care, from teens to mature women. As my career continues to unfold, my love for obstetrics and gynecology has deepened. Over the course of decades of medical practice, I have been grateful to care for women across many different life phases. Along the way, I’ve enjoyed participating in changes in their lives while caring for their health, weaving together a lifetime tapestry of countless moving experiences.
What developments have there been in the past 10 years that make you feel hopeful for the future of the field?
I am most hopeful for the future of personalized health care for women. With the advent of collaboration between fields of genetics, oncology, immunology and reproductive health, women can understand more about their individual health care needs based on personal pregnancy history, in addition to family history. Collaboration between these fields of medicine has helped to reduce cancer risk in women as well as improve individual pregnancy outcomes.
What is the biggest challenge in this field?
Compared to the rest of the world, the overall maternal mortality and morbidity rates in our country are much too high and, in many areas, going in the wrong direction. Seeing that women and girls are simply undervalued across large swaths of our society leads to more challenges to health for all women. Instead of improving over the recent years, it seems that modern politics and public policy has recently repositioned women’s health care in a defensive position. Even in 2016, it is surprising to me that the collaborative women’s “voice” is fighting simply for the right to be heard. Broad societal gender inequity is a challenge for every woman’s health, home life, relationships, work and overall well-being.