How long have you been practicing medicine?
I’ve been practicing since 2002.
What is maternal fetal medicine?
Maternal fetal medicine is a sub-specialty of obstetrics and gynecology. We see patients who have a high-risk pregnancy due to a condition with the mother or the fetus, and we help diagnose conditions and manage those pregnancies in partnership with pediatric cardiology, neonatology, pathology, pediatric surgical and obstetrical medicine specialists.
We work extremely closely with our general obstetrics colleagues to provide care to these complex patients. Maternal fetal medicine is highly multidisciplinary, and I often feel we function as the switchboard operator for high-risk pregnancies, connecting the various team members providing care for these patients. I am privileged to work with an amazing team at the MFM clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women.
Why did you choose to focus your practice on maternal fetal medicine?
I chose this specialty because I’m drawn to the complex and diverse nature of maternal and fetal conditions. I am passionate about fetal imaging, and there is a lot of problem solving and detective work to come up with a diagnosis amidst clinical uncertainty.
There is such a broad range of reasons patients are referred to MFM, such as a multiple pregnancy, a mother with hypertension, or a fetus with a serious health concern. Every day and every patient is a little different.
What do you find most satisfying about your work?
One would think that it may be sad and difficult to work in a field where we know we’re managing complex situations, but this specialty can also bring a lot of joy. For example, I often deliver good news that the fetus is thriving. Some complicated fetal conditions can be managed with in-utero therapies that substantially impact their prognosis in a positive way. Through advances in fetal surgery and in-utero gene therapy, there are many things we can do these days to facilitate a healthy pregnancy.
As a member of the OB/GYN department at the U of A, I also enjoy teaching and mentoring medical students and residents, ultrasound trainees and sonographers. Through that work, I hope to grow the next generation of compassionate maternal fetal medicine specialists.
About the Shine a Light program
The Shine a Light program recognizes and profiles AMA member physicians who are making a difference by:
- Spearheading projects that improve patient and/or community life
- Diligently following/tracking patients to ensure coordinated care
- Contributing to Alberta’s vision of a high-performing health care system