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Bruce A. Lessey, M.D., Ph.D.
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Describe the most rewarding experience that you have had working with a patient?
When I was younger, I discovered a protein in the endometrium that predicts success or failure at IVF. The first woman who I worked with who was missing this protein had failed IVF 3 times and didn't know why. After we diagnosed her and treated her underlying endometriosis, she went on to have 3 successful pregnancies. She still sends me Christmas cards. I know that if it had not been for her, as both a patient and willing research subject, we would never have helped the thousands of couples since who now use this diagnostic test as part of their infertility work up.
What is your charity organization of choice and why?
I strongly support the Endometriosis Association for all the education and support that they provide.
What does living in the Anderson community mean to you?
Greenville has been the best place to work of any in my career. The people are friendly, our staff and other physicians are happy and it is a wonderful place to life.
What makes your specialties the right fields of medicine for you?
As a scientist and physician, I like to understand the problem before I choose a treatment. When I am able to discover the underlying cause of a couples infertility because of my special training, and am able to successfully fix it, those patients often conceive on their own. These are the most happy and satisfied people. This is especially true in cases of recurrent pregnancy loss and unexplained infertility where our training really makes a difference.
Finish this sentence: If I weren't a doctor I would be___.
Basic scientist. I love to ask why and then be able to find out. There have been times when I knew something about the universe that no one else knew (until I published it). Understanding the world around us is important on so many levels.
When (your age) did you first realize you wanted to enter the health & medical field? And did you experience anything in particular to motivate you to achieve this prestigious goal?
At 5 I knew I wanted to be a scientist. It wasn't until medical school that I learned that I was good at surgery as well. Being able to fix a problem is so satisfying.
Can you tell us in your own words what you consider a perfect outcome of a surgical procedure?
For In Vitro Fertilization, a healthy, singleton pregnancy is a perfect outcome. For endometriosis patients, sustained relief from pain is the perfect outcome.
What is your favorite procedure to perform and why?
We have found that over 90% of our unexplained infertility patients have endometriosis. By doing surgery we help symptoms such as pain but also have found that over 70% conceive on their own without IVF or other infertility treatment. My favorite surgery has become laparoscopy since it helps so many people and it is less invasive and an outpatient procedure.
In a perfect world, when would you like to retire, where would you go and what would you do?
I may never retire. I love what I do too much. There are few professions that can be so satisfying as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. I can't see myself on a golf course. Perhaps a bee-keeper or a dog-breeder.
What Sets Us Apart
Our fertility program is one of the most successful in the country, with assisted reproduction pregnancy rates that exceed the national average. We truly believe in combining the latest medical procedures and technology with a gentle, caring staff.
Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO
(also Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO)
Residency: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Fellowship: Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Board Certification: American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology with added qualifications in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
Professional Associations: American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (Fellow), American Medical Association, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, The Endocrine Society, Society for Gynecologic Investigation, World Endometriosis Society
Editorial Positions: Associate Editor, Human Reproduction
Special Interests: Endometriosis, implantation and uterine receptivity, research, and polycystic ovarian syndrome and unexplained infertility
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