Rapid Rounds: 5 Minutes with Dr. Genevieve Eastabrook

Written by The Rounds

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Dr. Genevieve Eastabrook is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Schulich School of Medicine and is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Subspecialist in London, Ontario. During her busy schedule, Dr. Genevieve took the time to answer a few questions for our new “Rapid Rounds” blog series featuring social physicians in the Canadian healthcare space.

Check out the rest of our post to hear about Dr. Genevieve’s reason for entering the medical field, how she believes technology can improve healthcare outcomes, and what she believes is the most pressing issue facing healthcare today.

1. What inspired you to get into the medical field?

As a child, I watched my mother experience recurrent pregnancy loss, followed by a complicated high-risk pregnancy. My baby brother, who was born when I was 12, was later diagnosed with autism. I saw the best and worst aspects of medical care – including the exclusion of family members and patients themselves from shared decision-making. I was 15 when I decided I wanted to go into medical school, but it wasn’t until my last year of medical school that I realized that OBGYN was what I wanted to do. I entered med school wanting to be a rural family doctor, then an oncologist or a paediatric neurologist. As a maternal-fetal medicine subspecialist, I get to do a little bit of everything: antenatal care, radiology, fetal diagnosis, surgery, maternal medicine, and participate in the education of medical students and residents. 

2. How has / can technology improve healthcare outcomes? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has really demonstrated how technology can be adapted to develop safe virtual care models in a variety of settings. Pre-COVID, I have been involved in a number of research initiatives using technology to better predict, diagnose, and manage common and serious pregnancy problems such as preeclampsia. Our research group is involved in studies looking at advanced imaging techniques, biophysical assessments of maternal health such as pulse wave velocity, and assessments of placental function to manage pregnancies impacted by conditions such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension. 

3. What do you think is the most pressing issue in healthcare / medicine today? 

The obvious answer is the COVID-19 pandemic, but really, the pandemic has simply exposed numerous problems in our healthcare system, including the care of people in long-term care facilities, people experiencing homelessness and drug dependence, and institutionalized racism and healthcare disparities amongst BIPOC people. Nonetheless, I think that the most pressing issue in healthcare is the spread of health misinformation through social media, as well as the politicization of scientific knowledge. As a physician, a scientist, and a parent, I feel obligated to participate in public knowledge translation of accurate, fact-checked health information. I want this information to be accessible to every Canadian. I also want it to be easy to understand, interesting, and fun!