My trail to Ob/Gyn led from Houghton College in upstate New York to UConn School of Medicine to residency at Medical College of Virginia. My family then headed north to Lansing, Michigan, where I enjoyed doing both high- and low-risk obstetrics, and complicated gynecologic repairs, mainly vaginally and laparoscopically. I was clinical faculty for both medical schools at Michigan State University, and loved training future doctors in both the skills and the caring needed for Ob/Gyn. After more than 30 years of sharing in the lives of patients in Lansing, our second grandchild arrived in Denver, and love of family led me to leave Michigan but not my passion for improving the lives of women at all stages of life.
What makes Colorado home to you?
Colorado has long been a favorite vacation spot, but my son and our daughter-in-love, along with their children, are firmly settled here. People are more important than things or places to me, and Family is Home.
What are your passions outside of work?
I like physical activity– hiking, biking, kettlebell—but am just as happy playing 6-string bass, or reading while my wife sketches and paints. When performed with the “help” of grandchildren, cooking eggs, fixing plumbing, or going to the park are all elevated to fun family activities.
Why did you become an OB/GYN?
I saved Ob/Gyn for my last rotation in Med School, because I heard it was a terrible lifestyle. After my first 36-hour shift, though, I was hooked. I love safeguarding mothers and babies, leaving as many choices to them as possible while keeping them out of danger. I love the surgical skills, knowledge, and mental flexibility needed to relieve someone’s pain and restore normal function. And I love connecting with women as they share their complaints, their values, and their hopes, helping them work their way to being better. Ob/Gyn is a hard job, but it’s a wonderful life.
What in your career are you most proud?
I think of kinds of moments, instead of one amazing thing:
- The mother of a 24-week baby I delivered by emergency c/s at 2 a.m. for another doctor’s practice, coming back to me to say “thank-you” with a card and a healthy girl, 1 year later.
- The 80-year-old woman for whom I had repaired rectal, bladder, and uterine prolapse, who called me to cancel her post-operative visit because she felt too good, and was going on vacation with her family instead.
- The nurse who thanked me for taking especially good care of her friend, not knowing I hadn’t known this was her friend, but had acted that way because she was my patient
I am proudest when my “usual care” is unusually appreciated.
What is the most important part of your job?
I need to help, and not harm. I try to connect with a patient to help sort out what matters to her, and to figure out what I can help her fix or improve. If I address something she doesn’t care about, it might get better, but she won’t feel happier or “well.” I strive to bring all my life experiences and skills with me, but only to use the ones that apply. I try to do what helps, not just what I am good at. Sometimes that is surgery or medicine, sometimes it is behavioral counseling, and sometimes it is just listening and talking thing out.
Are you accepting new patients?