Continuing our physician spotlight series on the blog, we recently caught up with Dr. Angela Thyer and asked her a few questions.
SRM: Where is your hometown?
I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and have a lot of extended family there. Even though I didn’t go to college at Ohio State, I’m a big Buckeye fan. I wanted to explore the world and went to college at Duke. Now I’m a life-long Blue Devil when it comes to basketball.
SRM: When did you first think about going into medicine?
I did a lot of babysitting in middle and high school and used to sit for a PhD who ran the IVF lab and sperm bank in Columbus. I had the chance to visit the lab and saw an egg retrieval performed in an operating room. This was back in 1985. I was seventeen years old and it was pretty incredible.
SRM: Why did you choose to specialize in Obstetrics/Gynecology and then subspecialize in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility?
I liked OB/GYN, but I knew that Reproductive Endocrinology was my true calling as soon as I went through the rotation. It was exciting for me to research things like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome during my fellowship and reproductive aging at the University of Washington. Best of all, I love that I get to help people start and grow their families. Individuals who need help with fertility share intimate parts of their lives with us. I respect their vulnerability and am so amazingly grateful that I am able to help them.
SRM: What has been your personal experience with IVF?
I met my husband in medical school and we ended up needing to go through IVF twice. I remember as we were going through all the fertility treatments how nerve-racking it was to feel like we might not be able to have kids. Ultimately, we were successful, but we went through many difficult times. It’s very important for me to help patients navigate the challenging fertility process and help them achieve their own success with compassion and insight.
We were fortunate that we had health insurance that covered IVF. The finances can be such a burden and I advocate to increase insurance coverage for fertility services. I strive to think creatively and modify protocols for patients to figure out what will work best for them medically and financially, as cost frequently plays a big part in what patients are able to do.
SRM: Can you talk about your interest in integrating alternative and complementary therapies into your practice?
Many patients prefer to take the most natural route possible to conceive. I welcome a holistic approach, integrating alternative and complementary therapies with western medicine. Using acupuncture or other mind-body techniques improves the odds of a successful outcome. I encourage patients to identify what works best for them to reduce stress in their lives and keep a positive outlook.
SRM: What do you do to relax?
Exercise, yoga, spending time with family and friends, reading, and travel. We recently went to Iceland and it is one of the best vacations we’ve ever had. I’m teaching my girls to cook and play poker.
Click here to learn a little more about Dr. Angela Thyer.