About Michael Blotner, MD
Q: What did you want to grow up to be when you were a little kid?How and when did you get started in medicine, and more specifically Reproductive Endocrinology?
As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a physician. When I was about eleven years old, I began working for my great-aunt, who had a very busy pediatrics practice in New Orleans. During the summers, I would follow her around as she attended to her patients. I would weigh and measure them and take their temperatures. As time progressed, I prepared injections, performed “finger stick” hemoglobin and hemoccult determinations, and actually administered injections. It was an amazing experience. Not only did I learn some of the technical aspects of patient care, but I saw the dedication and compassion my aunt had for every single patient and parent, regardless of their race or socio-economic status.
I was always a “straight A” student and I loved the sciences in particular. Following four exciting years at the University of Texas at Austin, I was accepted into University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, one of the most progressive and advanced schools in the country, leading in research and academics. I was particularly drawn to OB-Gyn because of the miracle of the reproductive process, and the excellent professors and role models in the school. I knew from my first year in medical school that I wanted to become a reproductive endocrinologist. It offered a blend of medicine and surgery, with the added benefit of helping couples start a family…the greatest gift.
Q: Talk about a patient from your earlier days of your medical practice and why she is so memorable.
A: There is one couple that comes to mind that I treated in the late 1980’s, when I was on faculty at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick. She was a teacher who had severe endometriosis.
After performing a video laparoscopy with CO2 Laser, we attempted several months of ovulation induction with intrauterine insemination. We eventually brought her to IVF. The success rates were lower then, and she conceived twins on her third attempt.
My journey with this couple was reawakened when she sent me a letter in the mail two years ago around the holidays. It included a family picture with her son and daughter, both in college, with interests in bioengineering and teaching. It was truly a moving and fulfilling moment.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: My favorite part of my job is giving the news of a positive pregnancy test. To hear the joy and surprise in their voices is really rewarding. Also, to have patients that are pain free after laparoscopy is gratifying.
Q: What is the hardest part of your job?
A: Undoubtedly, the hardest part of my job is giving the news of a negative pregnancy test after IVF.
Q: What is one thing patients would be surprised to know about you?
A: My patients may be surprised to know that I play guitar, mandolin, and bodhran (Irish drum). I have occasionally performed at “open mic” nights and in sessions.