So Meaningful to Include our Daughters

By Carla Simonian MD

My week in Armenia, providing obstetrical and gynecological care tounder served women in rural areas of Armenia was very meaningful and fulfilling.  In my case, as an OB/GYN in Hackensack, NJ, I was delighted that I was able to bring my two daughters, Sophia, age 15 and Olivia, age 11, along with me to observe, help, and provide care.  I even had them learning to take blood pressures and finger sticks for blood glucose levels.  The experience left them with such a great appreciation for their own comforts at home and a deeper commitment to service in the future.

As past and current students at the Hovnanian School in New Milford, NJ, Sophia and Olivia often acted as my translator when speaking with patients.  Along with the wonderful doctors from Yerevan, COAF, and the great team of nurses and techs from AAHPO, we were able to screen women for infections, provide pap smears, menopausal relief, and even OB ultrasound.

I remember one patient in particular who had many misconceptions regarding oral contraceptives.  Once she was counseled, she was very willing to begin taking the pills which are provided free of charge by the state but are sadly underused.  And, while we were in Lori seeing patients, my husband, a vascular surgeon, was in Karabakh operating on a man gored by a bull!

This was a tremendous experience in which I encourage all physicians to get involved at least once in their career.  And the fact that everyone was so generous in accommodating us in making this a family experience made it all the more meaningful.



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