Alumni Profile

Dr. Aparna Diwan Shah
Class of 2004

What made you decide to pursue OB/Gyn as a career?

During medical school, I found advocating for women and women’s healthcare to be one of the most rewarding aspects. I realized very quickly in medical school that I loved surgery, but what I fell in love with most of all during my Ob/Gyn rotation was the ability to connect with female patients, form meaningful patient-doctor relationships, and impact quality of life in women.

What made you decide to go into urogynecology?

I realized during my residency training that I loved the opportunity to educate women about their well-being and impact their quality of life. I loved that is a newer field, in which the research and technology are growing and changing rapidly from one day to the next. With our population aging, I felt that there was a need for physicians who are passionate about quality of life in women of all ages, and I loved the fact that practicing urogynecology would allow me to potentially impact and improve the lives of so many women.

What made you choose BWH/MGH as your residency?

I was (of course!) first drawn to the program’s stellar reputation as a place that provides incredible training in obstetrics and gynecology as well as a strong academic foundation. When I interviewed, I realized that between BWH and MGH there was essentially nothing in the field of Ob/Gyn that I would not see, manage and experience as a resident. I also realized that I would be surrounded by amazingly accomplished and driven physicians who would drive me to be the best physician I could be. What struck me most of all at my residency interview, though, was how kind, caring and cohesive the residents seemed. It truly felt like a place that would feel like home-and it did!

What unique preparation did the BWH/MGH Ob/Gyn residency give you for your career?

I certainly feel like I saw, experienced, and managed just about everything relevant to an obstetrician and gynecologist during my training, from the simplest to the most complex. As a result, in real world practice I have always felt that I can manage any medical situation that presents itself. I also feel like it prepared me well to understand that medicine is ever-changing, and that to be a great physician one must forever learn, change and adapt. Finally, it provided me with a phenomenal network of colleagues who truly are leaders in women’s healthcare, many of whom I keep in touch with to this day.

How does your current position correspond to where you envisioned yourself as you finished residency?

Every day that I am in practice, I am thankful that for the opportunity to care for women, to advocate for women, and to improve quality of life for women, and I am reminded that I selected the perfect field of medicine for me. Additionally, as fellowship director, I love my day to day interactions with fellows and residents and the opportunity to educate and train future urogynecologists. I feel like I learn so much from our trainees, and really value the fact that I have a chance to impact their careers.

Do you have a favorite memory from residency?

I have so many great memories from residency! But I would say one of my favorites is definitely graduation. Our class definitely had a wonderful chemistry, and it was so bittersweet to move on and graduate but leave my incredible classmates and colleagues.

What do you miss from residency?

I miss many things. I miss my very cohesive, bright, hard-working, compassionate co-residents, both my classmates and many residents ahead of and behind me in training. At BWH/MGH I felt I was truly surrounded by the brightest, most ambitious and most accomplished physicians, co-residents, fellows and attending physicians who drove me to be the best physician I could be.

If you could go back and give advice to your intern class, what advice would you give?

While the days, weeks and months will feel very long and, at times, grueling, the years or residency training will pass very quickly so try to focus on all the incredible opportunities to learn and to build relationships with colleagues.

What is the most rewarding part of your current job?

Restoring quality of life for my patients!