Adetola Louis-Jacques, MD
Institution: University of South Florida
Title: Assistant Professor
Medical School: Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
Residency: Lehigh Valley Health Network
Fellowship Training Institution: University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
Tell us about someone who had an influence on you as child. My mother’s strength and steadfastness has been an incredible source of inspiration to me as a child and adult. She lost three children to sickle cell disease and its complications and each time, she got up again and continues to love deeper than anyone I know. She is remarkably kind and full of GRIT! “Lya ni wura iye biye.”
Was there a mentor(s) and/or a patient who inspired you? Goodness, I have been really fortunate with amazing mentors. In residency, Drs. Joanne Quinones, Meredith Rochon, and John Smulian were wonderful mentors and they have continued to be. In fellowship, I met a remarkable scientist, who has served as my primary mentor for the last six years – Dr. Maureen Groer. She shared her love for science, listened intently, cared for the whole person, and treated me always like a valuable colleague. Alongside her, for my Foundation for SMFM/AAOGF mentoring program, were Drs. Magness and Lockwood. Two fantastic scientists who give selflessly: they helped groom me for an independent translational research program. I am completely blessed to have worked with these teams of mentors.
How did the diversity (or lack of diversity) in your medical educators shape your training? UVM was a fantastic experience! However, there were few pictures of people of color during the first couple of years of medical school. Most were pictures of Black women’s vaginas with STIs. That WOKE me up! It drove me to learn about how medical education can foster disparities knowingly or unknowingly.
Tell us about an MFM colleague(s) who has been an important part of your MFM career. I want to recognize the amazing MFM Divisions at both Lehigh Valley Health Network and the University of South Florida. A special shout out to: Dr. Kari Whitley, OB chief and friend, who spent many hours chatting with me about MFM; Dr. Alison Stuebe who showed me that I could pursue my passion for breastfeeding as an MFM; Dr. Judette Louis for her guidance and immense support; and Dr. Jerome Yankowitz who saw my potential before I ever did and fostered it completely. I could also always count on him for a lively debate!
What role has SMFM played in your career? In my third year of fellowship, I was the proud recipient of the SMFM/AAOGF mentoring award from the Foundation for SMFM. This has had the most critical role in my career development. I remain indebted to the Foundation and the amazing committee for the exceptional and rigorous training they provided me. Special thanks to Drs. Francine Hughes, Ignatia Van den Veyver, and Yoel Sadovsky. I appreciate your time, honesty, and devotion.
I’m excited to wake up every day and practice Maternal Fetal Medicine because…I love to be with women in the most critical times of their lives and to help carry a little of their burden or share their joy.
If I could solve one problem in MFM it would be…working to develop the same passion for the postpartum as much as for the pregnancy.
I might be the only MFM who… worked as a hair braider and groomed locs right before medical school
My MFM colleagues would be shocked to know…that I loved reading “Spiritual Midwifery” and “Orgasmic Birth” …a little more than some OB texts!