Continuing our physician spotlight series on the blog, we recently caught up with Dr. Nichole Barker and asked her a few questions.
SRM: Where is your hometown?
I’m from a suburb of Youngstown, Ohio. But I’ve probably spent more than half of my life in Cleveland, attending college and doing my training there.
SRM: When did you first think about going into medicine?
I knew fairly early on that I found blood and that sort of thing really kind of interesting rather than gross. I was drawn to science and curious about it, and I liked the idea of partnering with patients and taking care of them. It just seemed to make sense.
SRM: Why did you choose to specialize in Obstetrics/Gynecology and then subspecialize in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility?
Initially I wanted to be an Ear Nose and Throat doctor because I had ear infections my whole life. And then when I did my rotation I found I didn’t like it all that much. I never expected to like OB/GYN but I found I liked being part of women’s health care and liked being part of patient care during a special time in life.
My interest in REI came after I was already doing OB/GYN. I had been working at an inner-city clinic in Cleveland, where it seemed that everyone was pregnant. But when I had my first REI patient I’ll never forget that moment when I got to share with the patient their baby’s heart beat on the ultrasound. To me, it all kind of clicked that there are couples out there that really want this and struggle to get there, and I thought maybe I can help them.
SRM: Can you talk about your own experience with infertility?
My husband and I struggled with infertility ourselves. It was actually during my REI fellowship that we found out. It was devastating. We decided to try IVF, and thankfully it worked. I think the experience has affected me tremendously.
I remember how it affected me when we didn’t know if we’d be able to get pregnant. It was probably one of the hardest things we’ve had to deal with, and I definitely bring that understanding into my practice. I know what it’s like to take the shots and go through these procedures.
SRM: What do you do to relax?
My husband and I are both avid runners and like to do half marathons together. Our family also loves to go to beaches around here and to travel.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Barker.