Interview: Dr. Howard Berger, OBGYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist
Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Dr. Howard Berger, and I am an OBGYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist at St. Michael’s Hospital. This month, our team is excited to help launch the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Clinic at Humber River Hospital!
The new Clinic will provide care for women experiencing higher-risk pregnancies, and for women who wish to become pregnant who may have underlying health barriers.
What excites you about opening the Maternal Fetal Medicine at Humber River Hospital?
In the past, patients needing high-risk consultations had to travel to places like St. Michael’s – sometimes taking several buses to a single appointment! Now high risk patients who live in Humber River Hospital’s community will have access to these consultations closer to home.
Everyone at Humber has been extremely helpful and committed. The whole Maternal Child Program from the top-down has been very excited about this and we have been doing a lot of work to make this happen together.
Plus, it’s fun to walk into Humber! The building is nice and new, and very patient and clinician friendly.
How would you explain your job to a friend?
I do a little bit of everything, including high-risk clinical services, attending ultrasounds, general obstetrics, education, and a lot of research.
I like that every day is different. Obstetrics, especially with higher-risk pregnancies, doesn’t lend itself to predictable hours, so I never know how my day is going to turn out.
How has COVID-19 affected your work with high-risk pregnancies?
When COVID hit, many clinics were shut down but our high-risk clinic was full. Most of our patients cannot be cared for virtually, so St. Michael’s made provisions for them to come in for their appointments without partners.
We have also adopted virtual care for those that don’t require physical presence, but those appointments are the minority.
What do you love about your job?
I love when we are able to see a good outcome for a patient who is high-risk or who has had unhappy outcomes in the past. And, when we do have bad outcomes, I am glad that I can be there to help families get through the loss. They are both equally important.
What is one awesome thing you’ve done in the last year?
We made some great updates to our cottage, which we were lucky to have this summer! It’s very secluded and peaceful. I love being up there cooking for my family, gardening, fixing things, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding.
What inspires you?
Regardless of the outcome, I’m inspired that we get to help our patients.
I am also inspired by the research being done in our field and by getting to interact with trainees on research projects. I am driven forward by continuously getting to try to answer questions about maternal fetal medicine.