Where Are They Now: A Time of Transformation

Kayla E. Nixon, M.D., prepares for the day ahead well before dawn. Dr. Nixon is in the operating room, and the third-year resident will be assisting in gynecologic surgeries. She previously reviewed all the files and is recounting each patient in her head. At 8 a.m., Dr. Nixon meets with the other OB-GYN residents for the surgical briefing, where they discuss preliminary surgical plans and meet individually with the consulting physician.

“Gynecologic surgery is very hard technique wise but also so rewarding because the patients are really struggling, and I can help,” she says.

OB-GYN is a medical specialty that requires a variety of practices of caring for women through every phase of their lives, such as regular checkups, overseeing pregnancy, delivering babies, menopause management, and gynecologic and oncologic surgery. The specialty often involves lengthy days and an unpredictable schedule.

“Thankfully, I was extraordinarily prepared because of my Mayo Clinic School of Medicine training,” Dr. Nixon says. “As a resident, I feel very supported to practice extremely safe medicine, while balancing my autonomy to do things well and securely.”

Dr. Nixon says she knew she wanted to become a resident at Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education since her years as a Mayo Clinic School of Medicine student when she watched OB-GYN residents performing surgery with the aid of robotics.

“They operated with such amazing skill and were thoroughly prepared to field any questions from the consultants,” Dr. Nixon recalls. Her interest in continuing her Mayo education only magnified when she worked at an outside hospital as part of an internship during medical school.

“In comparison, I see the strength of what Mayo can offer patients mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. That collaborative way of providing care acknowledges our patients as people and incorporates our patients’ values so we can provide the best care,” she says.

Following her residency, Dr. Nixon says she hopes to continue practicing as a general obstetrician and gynecologist, possibly with additional training in advanced laparoscopic surgery. ■

Read the original story ‘Typically Atypical’ from the Spring 2016 edition

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Stories of Hope