Alumni Profile

Dr. Robert Barbieri
Class of 1984

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

Babies and healthy families! The birth of the first baby conceived using IVF (July 1978) helped me to commit to pursuing a career in reproductive endocrinology, infertility and contraception. Completing a residency in obstetrics and gynecology was a great foundation to a career in reproductive endocrinology.

What made you choose BWH/MGH as your residency?

The choice was easy! As a Harvard Medical School student, I had experienced the breadth and depth of talent and resources available at Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital to nurture the development of young physicians. In addition, Boston is an urban environment that is attractive to young professionals.

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

My perspective is that most U.S. obstetrics and gynecology residency programs provide superb clinical preparation for a career in women’s health. The Harvard University, Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s ecosystem provides many additional resources that helped to nurture the academic career of young physicians.

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

After residency training, I thought that I would spend most of my time participating in laboratory and clinical research. Administrative responsibilities began to occupy more and more of my time and eventually became my major focus.

Do you have a favorite memory from residency?

The people! The patients, families, nurses, residents, fellows and attendings each had unique perspectives about healthy living and optimal health care. Learning from both patients and clinicians was richly rewarding.

What do you miss from residency?

The immersive surgical experience. In retrospect the work hours, approximately 100 hours per week, were inhumane. However, the long hours were accompanied by plenty of surgical and operative delivery experience.

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

I hesitate to give advice, especially to peers. I wonder if we should have dedicated more effort to working on practical issues such as time management, career planning, maintaining a positive attitude, communicating effectively, practicing empathy, modeling kindness, keeping life in balance and mentoring.

What is the most rewarding part of your current job?

The people! The medical students, residents, fellows, nurses and colleagues at the MGH and BWH are superb contributors to our community of clinicians, teachers and scholars. It is richly rewarding to be made aware of new ideas and perspectives from other team members.