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BackTable / OBGYN / Podcast / Episode #11

Appalachian OBGYN: Practicing in a Rural Setting

with Dr. Jessica Branham

In this episode, Dr. Jessica Branham, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist affiliated with Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center invites listeners to learn about practicing OB/GYN in a rural setting. As a Kentucky native who was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky, Dr. Branham shares her personal experiences and the challenges that she has faced caring for a population that often requires the most medical attention, yet has the least access to resources.

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Appalachian OBGYN: Practicing in a Rural Setting with Dr. Jessica Branham on the BackTable OBGYN Podcast)
Ep 11 Appalachian OBGYN: Practicing in a Rural Setting with Dr. Jessica Branham
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, January 12). Ep. 11 – Appalachian OBGYN: Practicing in a Rural Setting [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Jessica Branham discusses Appalachian OBGYN: Practicing in a Rural Setting on the BackTable 11 Podcast

Dr. Jessica Branham

Dr. Jessica Branham is an OBGYN affiliated with Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center in rural Kentucky.

Dr. Mark Hoffman discusses Appalachian OBGYN: Practicing in a Rural Setting on the BackTable 11 Podcast

Dr. Mark Hoffman

Dr. Mark Hoffman is a minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon at the University of Kentucky.

Synopsis

The episode begins with Dr. Branham describing her day-to-day work schedule. As she shares the workflow of her clinic and OR days, as well as call shifts, she emphasizes how her patients’ care is typically subject to herself as their sole medical provider (e.g., handling a postpartum hemorrhage without access to Interventional Radiology). Due to this, Dr. Branham routinely thinks multiple steps ahead in regard to her patients’ care in order to decide if she can continue herself or if the patient has to be transported to a higher-acuity center.

Dr. Branham then transitions to discuss the challenges that she faces as a physician practicing in a rural setting. Using personal anecdotes and published data, she emphasizes barriers such as decreasing numbers of OB/GYNs choosing to practice in rural areas, as well as the weather conditions dictating whether or not a patient may be transported via helicopter or ambulance to an alternative hospital. In addition, she covers the impact of the opioid use epidemic that largely impacts the Appalachian region.

Lastly, Dr. Branham ends the episode by sharing why she passionately chooses to practice in rural Kentucky, despite the challenges she may face: her dedication to serving patients who are often in the most need of medical care. She also describes current systems in place to help improve care for her patients, including the Blue Angels Program, which provides telehealth visits with Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists at the University of Kentucky and traveling ultrasound clinics to specific areas in rural Kentucky counties.

Resources

Disclaimer: The Materials available on BackTable.com are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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