It didn’t take long after Emma Miller moved to Utah for her to start dropping hints. There weren’t many female OB-GYNs in Utah County, she told her former fellow residents, and she could use more women at her office.
“I planted that seed and somehow both of them followed me out there,” Miller said.
Miller, Jenna Madsen and Kristin Wexler make up the provider roster at Timpanogos Women’s Center at Pioneer Crossing in Lehi. The center, which is affiliated with Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem, is the only women’s health center in Utah County they know of with an all-female staff of OB-GYNs.
Female providers are fairly sparse in Utah. Women made up 54.5% of the nation’s active OB-GYNs in 2015, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. In 2016, 23.8% of physicians in Utah were female, and 43% of the state’s OB-GYNs were women.
Miller had a vision of an all-female OB-GYN team in Utah, where she knew fewer women go into the medical field than men.
Madsen, who is from Colorado, was in.
“We all got along in residency, so it is not difficult to want to practice with the people you trained with,” Madsen said.
All three women were residents together at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Long Island. That common history means all three women were trained the same way, which leads to patients receiving similar care no matter who they see. It also brings a comfort level with each other — and a set of inside jokes.
They’ve heard from patients that wanting a female provider is what drew them to the clinic.
“It comes up, for sure,” Miller said.
She said many of her clients will bring in their daughters, and that having a female provider can make them feel more comfortable.
“I think it has opened that door to see a lot more of these younger girls before they’re older and have lived for years and years with these issues,” Miller said.
She said patients might also be less afraid to ask questions to a female provider. Miller said she’s watched the younger generation be more proactive in their health care and has watched women’s health topics such as abnormal periods and hormones become less taboo.
Although they say the lifestyle of an OB-GYN isn’t easy, the center’s providers said they decided on the profession because of the variety of what they do and being able to see patients through multiple stages of life.
“The continuity is fun, especially because you get to develop that relationship,” Madsen said.