Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
In response to requests from the MIT community, the MIT Medical Department has added two female physicians to its obstetrics and gynecology service. Dr. Lori A. Wroble joined the service as a full-time physician in August, while Dr. Carey M. York was appointed on a part-time basis in July.
"We've restructured the service to provide more care on campus and more continuity of care," said Linda Rounds, executive director of the medical department. The changes will boost the availability of prenatal and gynecological care and free up more time for scheduled appointments, she added.
"The addition of female physicians meets a stated request by the MIT population," of which women are an increasingly large proportion, said Dolores Vidal, the service's nurse coordinator and a nurse practitioner. "It makes the accessibility better; the waiting times are shorter." When Dr. Liau was the only full-time female OB/GYN doctor, "the queue to see her was extremely long," Ms. Rounds said.
The hirings raise the OB/GYN physician complement to six: Drs. York and Annie Liau are full-time, while Drs. Charles Eades, William Finlayson, Laurent Delli-Bori and York are part-time. The service also includes nurse practitioners Karen Halvorson and Vidal, and nurse midwife Barbara Merrifield. Both full-time and two of the four part-time obstetrician/gynecologists are now women, Ms. Vidal noted.
Although the OB/GYN service had had a vacancy for some time, MIT, like other organizations, had trouble finding candidates because of a scarcity everywhere of obstetrician/gynecologists. Until this summer, the service used fellows to provide coverage, Ms. Rounds said.
A Massachusetts native, Dr. Wroble received her BA from Amherst College in 1981 and her MD from Boston University in 1985. She did her internship and residency at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu and completed her military service at Fort Polk, LA, where she was on the staff of Bayne Jones Army Community Hospital, most recently as chief of OB/GYN Services. Her husband is currently doing a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Children's Hospital.
"I'm very impressed with the amount of time we have with patients," Dr. Wroble said in discussing differences between her previous position and her job at MIT. She added that working within the medical department's HMO structure allows her to have a more regular schedule than in private practice, so she can spend more time with her family. Dr. Wroble has three children ages eight, five and three; two of them have participated in the MIT Day Camp and the Technology Children's Center since her arrival. "It's nice to have all those things available in the family of MIT," she said.
Dr. York finished her residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in July. She graduated from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges in 1985 and received her MD from Harvard Medical School in 1989. Dr. York works a 70 percent schedule at MIT and also sees private patients at Massachusetts General Hospital, teaches residents and works in a neighborhood clinic in Revere.
The variety of patients as well as the amount of time available with them during appointments are advantages at MIT, Dr. York said. Those who use the medical department are of all different ages and come from all over the world, said Dr. York, who grew up in England. "We take care of the whole MIT community, from janitors to the president," she observed. "I've really enjoyed it here so far."
OB/GYN staff members oversee about 200 deliveries of babies each year at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where they have admitting privileges, Ms. Vidal said.
A version of this article appeared in the November 3, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 12).