With the hiring of John C. Smulian, MD, MPH, as chair of the UF College of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in January 2019, the department has welcomed a nearly 50% increase in faculty, the establishment of six divisions and the creation of several comprehensive multispecialty programs to elevate the program and advance women’s health and prenatal care. An expert in maternal-fetal medicine and complications in pregnancy, Smulian has brought a renewed enthusiasm and vision for the department and its ability to work across the hospital to integrate services and improve continuity of care in obstetrics, gynecology and all aspects of women’s health.
We asked him a few questions to better understand the future of the department:
Q: What’s your vision for the department?
A: We want to provide every degree of care for patients at the local, regional, state and national level, but the focus starts at home. UF has an excellent reputation for providing high-quality patient care, especially for patients with highly complex medical conditions. However, we pride ourselves on providing the full spectrum of care, including the most routine care for women. The culture of our department is a culture of inquiry. Everything we do should further knowledge, education and clinical care for women’s health.
Q: What has changed since you joined UF?
A: We hired nine faculty members in the first six months of the 2019 academic year, created divisions to reflect the needs of our patients and our educational mission, and are working toward establishing several multispecialty programs to address the needs of patients, in effect, creating a medical home for patients receiving prenatal care who also have complicated diseases. The department has also reorganized into six distinct but collaborative divisions: academic specialists in general obstetrics and gynecology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.
Q: Can you explain the new multidisciplinary programs that will serve patients with multiple gynec
A: We will continue to provide OB-GYN care for patients with any condition. What’s new is that we’re moving toward a system of condition-specific care — conditions that require special, collaborative, multispecialty care — which allows us to provide concentrated expertise. Heart Care in Pregnancy and Diabetes in Pregnancy are two of the hyperfocused programs we’ve established, and we also have multidisciplinary programs in perinatal infectious disease and invasive placental disorders.
Q: What’s new in OB-GYN research?
A: We believe that the origin of health and disease for many conditions begins in utero. To that end, we are establishing a collaborative reproductive biology research program that investigates the role of the placenta in the health of both mother and fetus, and then ultimately the impact on that child’s health into adulthood. Additionally, we are the only clinical site investigating a promising nonpharmacologic method for treating preterm labor.
This story originally ran in the Winter 2020 issue of the Doctor Gator newsletter.