Photo by Wiley Price
Home-grown physician, St. Louis-style
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 12:05 am
Those medical school enrichment programs for high school students can really pay off in a big way for the St. Louis community.
Ask Marsha Fisher, MD. She is an obstetrician gynecologist at Mercy Clinic Women’s Health – Ladue. The chemistry and mathematics major attended one of those programs while attending Metro High School, and it opened her mind to the idea to pursue a career in medicine.
“Learning in those arenas allowed me some opportunities, both in research medicine and in clinical medicine,” Fisher said. “I was actually involved in a program in high school through Washington University.”
It introduced students to the pre-medical field, and it introduced Fisher to some amazing mentors.
“One of my biggest mentors was a research scientist, Bill Goldman at Washington University,” Fisher said. “He introduced me to research but he also introduced me to a number of people throughout the Washington University community, including clinicians, that pretty much helped mentor me along the way.”
Before the program, Fisher saw a career filled with statistical data. By the time she became an undergraduate college student, Fisher knew she would do something in the sciences.
“I thought I was going to be an actuary, a statistician for the insurance industry,” Fisher said. “But the more I gained exposure to medicine; I realized that I liked people.”
This doesn’t mean that actuaries don’t like other human beings, of course; Fisher just found her niche.
And she always knew she would, because of support from friends and family, which includes her mother, Claudia Fisher, a former St. Louis Public Schools teacher, two daughters, Torey and Maya Dunlap (who are involved in academics and athletics at her old high school), her grandmother and lots of extended family.
She said it is probably her mother that she looks up to the most.
“She was such a fine example of a working mom: patient, a master at multi-tasking, organized and loving,” Fisher said. “And so I had a fine example. My parents and family always made me feel like, if you get out there and push yourself, you can do it – whatever you want to do.”
Fisher earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Chemistry from Washington University and earned her medical degree at the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Medicine. She came back to St. Louis for her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Barnes Hospital.
Fisher has served the health needs of St. Louis-area women for the last 17 years, attending to gynecological issues, surgery, delivering babies and promoting disease prevention and wellness.
She said OBGYNs who are well-trained are good listeners and can take your personal health history to individualize your care based on that information.
“What we learn in textbooks, what we learn online, what we learn in courses never completely translates into the best way to take care of patients,” Fisher said. “I think someone who’s able to take the science and the art of medicine and make it personal is what I strive to be and what I would even look for in a physician.”
Fisher said other important qualities patients are looking for include finding someone is enthusiastic, has a positive outlook on life and enjoys what they do. She said she feels lucky to be a part of the St. Louis community.
“I grew up here and there have been many blessings because of that, and my practice has grown tremendously because of it,” Fisher said. “When people know you and respect you, I think it’s very easy to grow.”
The Salute to Excellence in Health Care Awardee needs only to look around for her purpose-driven life.
“My motivation is what I do every day: taking care of patients and helping them make their lives better and raising their families,” she said. “And practicing long enough to grow old with some of my patients has been one of the most rewarding things. And having them give me some kind of idea of how much influence I’ve had on their health and their well-being is the most rewarding thing about practicing.”
--The story can be accessed here.