I can’t turn on the TV without seeing a commercial for some scary medical problem like conjoined twins. How did you manage to keep fears at bay?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I didn’t have to watch reality TV to hear scary stories. Because I was an older mom, I went to a high-risk obstetrician. They call this “advanced maternal age.” I hated that because I felt so young and healthy.
Also they seemed to focus and worry so much about bad outcomes that they scared me every time I went in. Their approach was very frightening to me. I don’t mind taking things seriously, but I’m very optimistic by nature, so always tried to look at the more positive side of things.
Early on in our training, physicians have to deal with the reality that the things you see happen to your patients could happen to your family. We develop mechanisms to handle the uncertainty and the reality of what could happen in life. During my pregnancy, I tried to keep the perspective that just because something happened to someone else didn’t mean it was going to happen to me.
—Ruth D. Williams, MD, a mom of twins—a boy and a girl—and another boy, and an ophthalmologist in private practice at the Wheaton Eye Clinic in Wheaton, IL, who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma