Maria Sophocles, MD: Advancing Women’s Healthcare

Well, I think the trend in OBGYN to shift from hospital and surgery To office procedures and I think this is going to cut down on healthcare spending a lot already there are OBGYN offices that have procedure rooms where they can do hysteroscopy and Small procedures and it’s it’s faster. It’s easier. It’s less expensive I think the other trend globally is that there are so many more Diagnostic instruments that are portable when I started training a Kulpa scope was an enormous big microscope You know the size of a sewing machine that you know you had to you could only have in the doctor’s office Now we have Kulpa scopes that fit in your hand We have incredible High-definition cameras right in our phones that we can document things are a colleague of mine spent Six months in South America doing colposcopy with nothing more than a little little handheld device that Can then be transmitted back to clinics so that clinicians can? read You know the the cervical images I think the trend I hope the trend will be to have increasingly mobile Diagnostic tools whether it’s ultrasounds that are looked like laptops or Kulpa scopes that fit in the palm of our hand so that we can get out to underserved populations both in the United States and globally and I think if we can do that, we’ll have I think that will improve Perinatal Mortality, I think that will improve Obstetrical diagnosis, but also in terms of diagnosis of cervical lesions cervical cancer Is more of a global issue than it is an American issue. We only have 40,000 cases of cervical cancer a year But the truth is there’s no reason to have any cervical cancer in the United States and What I find is the only cervical cancer I see are women who are not getting in to a clinician either because they live in rural areas or They’re choosing not to be educated about the need for regular Evaluation of the cervix so we have technology. It’s just a question of getting it in the hands of Rural clinics or you know internationally Getting to those populations who aren’t getting GYN care. I think that’s a big one I think as our population in the United States ages the demographic Is going to demand a need for more postmenopausal attention to urinary issues bone loss issues cardiovascular disease and I think OBGYNs We are a strange breed of primary care physician and surgical sub specialists But we’re gonna have to go with the times and understand that as more of our patients get older We cannot just assume they’ll find their way to a urologist we have to be asking them about Symptoms of genitourinary syndrome of menopause urinary incontinence recurrent urinary tract infections We have to be proactively thinking about the the bone loss and the cardiovascular Disease and I think we’re going to need to partner with the American Heart Association and really have a powerful Initiative to to try to screen for these things. So I think those are are the main issues that Going down the road if I look at the next 10 to 20 years in OBGYN I think we we are gonna be forced to address The last thing is really ovarian cancer. This has really Eluded us evaded us we we have Mammograms we have breast molecular. Imaging we have increasingly good ways to diagnose and treat breast cancer And we’ve made I think wonderful strides in The world of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment cervical cancer as I said Pap smears and and the link to HPV as a viral ideology have really made cervical cancer of rare disease in our field in the United States but ovarian cancer remains very difficult to diagnose we diagnosed at late stage and Pelvic exams pelvic ultrasounds Biomarkers, these have all proven inadequate So I think that’s sort of our last great frontier that we we truly need to To to find a better way to to find ovarian cancer. That’s that’s pretty

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