Behind the White Coat: Dr. Jackie Gutmann
If you’ve already met Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia’s Dr. Jackie Gutmann, you’ll probably never forget her.
Candid, honest, determined, and incredibly dedicated to helping patients become parents, Dr. Gutmann is one of the most magnetic fertility doctors in the region. She treats all of her patients, whether gay, straight, trans, single or in a partnership, in the same way: with compassion, respect and a commitment to achieving their goals.
Dr. Gutmann graduated from Yale University School of Medicine, and completed her ob-gyn residency and fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Yale New Haven Hospital. She then came to Philadelphia in 1992 as part of the Philadelphia Fertility Institute were Dr. Gutmann committed fifteen years of her life to bringing many new babies into the world, before co-founding RMA of Philadelphia in 2007. Since then, she’s continued to help patients fulfill their dreams of parenthood.
We sat down with Dr. Gutmann last week to learn more about her story, what she loves most about her work and what is in store for the future of infertility treatments.
Q: Why did women’s health and reproductive endocrinology interest you?
A: I was exposed to the field first as a medical student and then as a resident..
“I thought it would be a wonderful way to spend my life, helping people build their families.”
Everything about it is appealing– working with patients, as well as the science and its technical aspect. I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to have this opportunity.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your work?
A: Taking care of people, hands down. My satisfaction comes from my patients.
Q: Can you tell me about your fellowship at Yale? In particular, what research did you work on while you were there?
A: There were quite a few projects underway while I was at Yale. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity and the support to participate in a number of different research projects already underway as well as initiate a number of my own studies. I was able to perform clinical studies on a variety of topics including various ways that IUI and IVF outcomes could be improved, ectopic pregnancy, and hysteroscopy. I also had the opportunity to do “bench” research in the laboratory, and though I valued the experience it was clear that it was not how I wanted to spend my days.
Q: Is there someone in particular that you consider a mentor?
A: Alan DeCherney, who is the Chief or Reproductive Biology at the NIH, has been a mentor and inspiration since my days as a resident. He is extraordinarily bright, creative, and hard-working. Dr. DeCherney has made invaluable scientific contributions to the field. Most importantly he has always taken great care of his patients.
Q: You helped found RMA of Philadelphia in 2007 – what do you think sets RMA apart from other practices in the region?
A: We are good at what we do and we take excellent care of patients. The care that we provide is individualized, and have open lines of communication between our staff and patients. We offer more traditional methods of care, and when needed, we offer cutting edge treatments, too..
“When I say we, I certainly mean the doctors, but absolutely everyone in the organization. We are a team here at RMA of Philadelphia, and I think patients sense that when they walk through our doors.”
Q: The field has come a long since 2007 – what innovation has excited you most?
A: Pregnancy rates are getting better and better, even while we are significantly reducing the risk of multiple gestations. This is very, very exciting. To know that we can now be so confident about the success of a single embryo that we don’t have to put back more than one a time is absolutely revolutionary. The risk of multiple gestations is now about the same as it is in naturally occurring pregnancies.
Q: A sizable portion of your patients are LGBTQ. It seems this community gravitates to you, and you gravitate back. Why is that?
A: Taking care of people is what we do. If you take exceptional care of one person, or a couple, they will tell their friends. We work very hard to create a welcoming and comfortable environment to anyone coming to receive care, and we are glad it shows. We strive to make care that is not a lot of fun as pleasant as possible.
Q: Giving back is a priority to you not only in your professional life, but your personal life as well. What motives you to continue to give?
A: Answering that question could take days. I’m extremely fortunate to have the opportunity do what I do. It has been very rewarding both professionally and personally. I am truly blessed, and as a result I believe I have a responsibility to give back, both professionally and personally. I am very active in the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and especially enjoy providing mentorship and support to younger professionals who are entering this field..
“Personally, my family and I are committed to supporting efforts
to eliminate discrimination and inequities that exist in our society.
The world is a big place filled with so much division. We try and have a
positive impact, even if it is only in our own little corner.”
Q: What’s one thing not many people know about you?
A: I am a dragon boat national champion and I’ve competed on the world stage. I also paddle outrigger and recently completed a 19 mile race. The paddling community is amazing. Paddling is great fun and I am honored to be a part of the sport and a great team. Everyone should try it!!!
Dr. Jackie Gutmann is committed to helping hopeful parents from all walks of life start or grow their families – one healthy baby at a time.
If you or your partner are considering fertility treatment, make an appointment with RMA of Philadelphia and Central Pennsylvania today by calling 855-379-7572.
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