Frequently Asked Questions
Are you taking new patients?
Why do you have your office in a house rather than a medical office building?
When I finished graduate training I worked in the Health Department in Adams-Morgan in Washington D.C. This was interesting and good in many ways. After I had my son, I moved back to Charlottesville and worked for 10 years in a traditional physician owned practice. This was very perfect for me at that time. That practice closed in 2000 when the physician left the area. At that point in time, much had changed in the medical world in terms of payments from the insurance companies compared to when I began practice in 1987. The result of this change was a significant push for productivity. What productivity means in healthcare is seeing more patients in less time. This is not something I wanted to do. In order to have the freedom to schedule the time I wanted to spend with my patients, having my own practice seemed the best way to go. Having a home based office (yes it is my home above my office) results in the lowest possible overhead giving me the economic latitude to practice the way I prefer—hour long appointments for new, annual and problem visits. It is possible to practice quality healthcare in a 20 minute appointment, and many practitioners do this. But I like to take the time and look at all the issues a woman has in her life—physical, social, emotional, spiritual and her lifestyle choices that may be contributing to her overall experience of health and life. In one hour this is possible.
Additionally, my home based office is quiet, warm and well—homelike, and
professional. Many of my patients have commented on how comfortable they
feel in my office setting. Gynecology care by nature is a bit discomforting.
By making it as warm, friendly and private as possible, I find the women
I care for appreciate the difference a home based office makes.
Why didn’t you become a doctor?
I find this a very interesting question and one that has been asked me
directly quite a few times over the years. What it presumes is that at
some point I wanted to be a doctor. Obstetrics and Gynecology is a surgical
specialty and as a medical specialty is focused on identification and treatment
of disease. When I decided I wanted to be involved in healthcare, what
drove me was an interest in childbirth and specifically creating a safe
place where women could birth in their strength and in their individual
way. Over the years my gynecology care has evolved in a similar way, helping
women identify their issues and find the best way they can to achieve optimal
health in the way that best suits their beliefs. To this end I have focused
not only on western medical modalities but also on lifestyle, mind/ body,
herbal, homeopathic and nutritional approaches. I use routine medical diagnostic
and laboratory testing and prescription medications, when they are desired
and indicated, but my focus is on the whole person, not the part that is
their reproductive system. While I could well have ended up in this same
place as a physician, as some do, I never had the interest to devote myself
to either surgery or the study of disease as perceived by western medicine.
But I do know wonderful doctors who I refer to when their expertise is
Why do you no longer attend births?
After 19 years it was just the right time. Will I ever return to birth?
It’s hard to say. At the last birth I attended, Elizabeth, the lovely nurse
I was working with, turned to me and said “So this is your last birth!”.
At that time it was not a conceivable concept. So then, and now, I say—I
just don’t know, life makes many turns.
Can you write prescriptions?
Yes. It is one option of care and/or treatment, sometimes the best. I
approach each situation individually and discuss it with the woman I am
What do you think of Birth Control Pills?
Hormonal contraception—pills, vaginal rings, shots, implantable
devices, intrauterine devices (Mirena has progesterone, Paragard has copper)
all have their place in the world of contraception. As do diaphragms, cervical
caps and condoms. The good news is that in the 21st century we have many
options. It is useful to remember that prior to the 1960’s a scant 50 years
ago, there were condoms and diaphragms only. I welcome every method of
contraception, as for each method, there is a woman best served by it.
Can you refer me for a mammogram?
Do you prescribe bio-identical hormones? And what are these anyway? And are they safer than synthetic hormones?
Yes I do prescribe them.