Katherine Campbell, MD, MPH, specializes in maternal-fetal medicine, managing health concerns of the mother and fetus before and during pregnancy. A trip to El Salvador years ago cemented her interest in ob-gyn.
“I was working in a hospital there and I had to choose between the emergency department or labor and delivery. Labor and delivery won me over,” she says. “Even in the developing world, with limited resources, obstetrical problems are solved in a straightforward manner. What you really need for good care is the technical skills of an obstetrician or midwife, antibiotics, blood and sterile instruments.”
Dr. Campbell continues to hold an interest in global health care and has traveled to Rwanda several times to train obstetrical residents. On the national level, the rate of sickness and illness in pregnant women is on the rise, and Dr. Campbell is working to understand why. Here at Yale Medicine, she spends a lot of her time reassuring patients.
“If a baby needs surgery or is in the ICU and the mom is sick, it all becomes something the mother didn’t expect. But the good news is that we have all of this great technology and skills to help,” she says. “I let them know that we’ll take care of them and that there are things they can control things they cannot.”
At the end of the day, it’s the stack of letters and cards from grateful families on her office shelf that keeps her going, says Dr. Campbell, who is also an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine.