CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. – Physicians have to keep up with rapid changes in health care, and that is especially true in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. But one thing always stays the same, says new Mercy Clinic doctor Melinda Auer, M.D.
“Seeing parents’ faces the first time they meet their baby never gets old,” Dr. Auer said. “It’s something patients wait nine months for, to meet this baby that they have created. It is definitely a great experience.”
Dr. Auer joined the staff at Mercy Clinic OB/GYN – Jefferson in August after completing her four-year residency at Metro Health Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. She earned her medical degree from Saint Louis University.
“I’m originally from St. Louis, so I am a hometown girl,” she said. As a high school soccer player sidelined by knee injuries, Dr. Auer originally considered orthopedic surgery as her specialty before settling on OB/GYN.
“The role of an OB/GYN is to take care of the woman as a whole throughout her lifetime,” Dr Auer said. “Gynecology is care of a woman’s reproductive health and organs, while the role of the obstetrician is care of pregnancy and delivery of infants.”
Advances in medical care have resulted in many changes for how physicians fill patient needs.
“Hysterectomies were actually more common in the past, because now we have other treatments that we can use. I usually like to attempt to medically manage a patient’s symptoms before I jump directly to surgery,” Dr. Auer said. “These days the approaches are more minimally invasive. I tend to at least counsel or attempt a minimally invasive approach on most of the patients I see who need hysterectomies and are good candidates for that type of procedure.”
Instead of an incision that may be six inches long on the lower abdomen, laparoscopic surgery may be completed with two or three incisions about a centimeter each.
“Recovery time is generally much quicker. As long as the patient is feeling well, they generally go home the next day,” Dr. Auer said. “Every day with a minimally invasive or laparoscopic approach, patients tend to feel better, whereas you can hit road bumps with abdominal surgery, not feeling so good one day and then feeling a little bit better the next.”
Physicians must adapt to new recommendations and changes in the rapidly evolving medical field.
“I’ll get a medical journal one month that recommends one approach to a particular medical condition and then the next month it will have a different article saying this is the better way to treat it or approach surgery, so you definitely have to stay on top of your game,” Auer said.
What doesn’t change is the importance of solid physician-patient relationship.
“I really just like to sit down and have a conversation with a patient. The most important thing is developing rapport with a patient and being able to have an open line of communication,” Dr. Auer said. “A lot of times, what gynecologists talk about can be pretty sensitive, so the patient has to feel comfortable enough to open up about those issues.”
Dr. Auer is accepting new patients at Mercy Clinic OB/GYN – Jefferson, and most insurance plans are accepted. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 636-937-1545. Learn more at www.Mercy.net and see Dr. Auer’s profile at http://bit.ly/MercyDrAuer.