2020 Top Doctor: Tara Brodkin, M.D.

Editorial StaffMarch 19, 2020
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Photography by Steve Craft
Photography by Steve Craft

OB-GYN

Med School/Year Graduated: Sackler School of Medicine, 1996

Years in Practice: 18

You majored in microbiology. How did that impact your decision to become an OB-GYN?

Majoring in microbiology at Cornell University was fascinating. It definitely set me on my path to becoming an OB-GYN. We studied a lot of diseases and the prevention of the diseases, which helped me realize that I wanted to help women and spread awareness to prevent illness.

You went to medical school in Tel Aviv. How did an international education impact you personally and professionally?

It was a great experience to live abroad in Tel Aviv. It enabled me to travel and explore new cultures. Professionally, studying [there] gave me a wider perspective of advancements in medical technology and surgery. I carried that knowledge with me through my continuation of education and am very grateful. To this day, I think of how [the specialty] is practiced elsewhere worldwide.

If you could compel all women to do one thing regarding their health, what would it be?

To take an active interest to learn about their bodies and go for routine checkups!

How are you encouraged – or discouraged – by the behavior or attitudes of your patients? On the one hand, women are empowered to make their own health care decisions like never before, but on the other, misinformation is rampant.

I love that so many people are educating themselves via the internet, but I’m also discouraged that they don’t always consider the source of information. I would encourage patients to use the internet as a starting point for conversations with their doctors. And a quick tip: Really look at what’s in cleansing and hygiene products.

What’s the most bizarre birth plan element or request you’ve ever encountered?

[That] would have to be the time I delivered a patient with her husband straddling her in bed, while surrounded by a plethora of candles, and Barry White’s music playing in the background.

Do you have any hobbies or interests you pursue in your spare time?

Spending as much time with my family [as possible]. As a mother, it’s important but difficult to balance both my work life and family life. So on the rare day that I’m not rushing to someone else’s family, I’m with mine traveling, or going to barre class.

What are you watching on Netflix these days?

I’m always absorbed by any new cheesy Hallmark rom-com that comes out. My medical assistant, Victoria, is insisting that I watch the new season of Grace and Frankie.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be…”

The curator of a fabulous art museum.

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