France Galerneau, MD, a high-risk pregnancy specialist, keeps a “feel-good file”—notes of gratitude and snapshots from happy families.
She may not always remember names, but she recalls people and their stories. “Sometimes, patients write to let me know they became pregnant again and had a successful delivery. One time, it was a birthday card for me—I once delivered a set of triples on my birthday, and their mother remembered and sent me a photo of the kids as teenagers,” Dr. Galernau says.
Guiding families through difficult situations is gratifying, she says. “Most of the time, everything goes well, and we are there with families for a wonderful moment in their life. But when that’s not the case, it’s also rewarding to know that you can make a difference by being there for them and helping them through that difficult time,” Dr. Galerneau adds.
Dr. Galerneau, who focuses on prenatal diagnosis, ultrasound and consultative services, was drawn to medicine at a young age. “There are pictures of me examining my dolls,” she says. “What I love about Ob/Gyn is that it has a little bit of everything—internal medicine, surgery and psychosocial components. We follow women and couples at very important times in their lives and sometimes there's difficult decisions to be made if there are complications.”
Dr. Galerneau is an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine.