Welcome to the sixth edition of SAAOG member spotlight! Every month we highlight a different SAAOG member who is doing exciting things in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
This month we are excited to spotlight Karen Harris, MD. Dr. Harris is a current SAAOG State Representative for Florida. She is a dedicated long-time member of SAAOG, a former Chair of ACOG District XII, and dedicated to the field of OB/GYN.
Karen Harris, MD, MPH
OBGYN Program Director
Women's Group of North Florida
OBGYN Program Director, UCF/HCA Consortium Gainesville, accepted our first-year class in 2018.
Managing Partner, Women’s Group of North Florida
After 29 years in private practice, managing a large group, it has been a pleasure to transition to a teaching role. I enjoy training the next generation of OB/GYNs and giving back to the profession. My passion for advocacy and leadership is reflected in the curriculum and in selecting which residents train with our program. I have enjoyed the challenge of starting a brand-new residency program.
My interest in Women’s Health goes back to my time at Vassar College which had just transitioned from an all-girls school to co-educational. As a campus EMT, I became involved in the health issues facing young women. In medical school, I was elected the National Student Coordinator for AMWA serving on the National Board. Here I learned about advocacy for women’s health issues and was mentored by many women leaders. It seemed natural that I choose OB/GYN as my specialty.
Dr. Thomas Young, my senior partner, was President of SAAOG. He encouraged me to join the organization. When I joined, I presented my research on our practice data base on an analysis of the C/S rates. The project was part of my MPH project which I earned in 2011.
The meetings provide great scientific content as well as important time to network with colleagues from all over the southeastern US. When Florida became its own District XII of ACOG, we separated from District IV. I now use the SAAOG meeting to reconnect with many of the same people that I used to see at the ADM. I find it important to discuss current topics with a wide range of professional colleagues. I especially like the more academic focus of the SAAOG meeting where fresh ideas and traditional points of view are often brought into juxtaposition.
I would like to see more awareness of the clinical advances in OBGYN penetrate to all the physicians in our specialty. Being on the academic/teaching side of the profession, I note that there is often a significant discrepancy be current best practice and what happens with patient care. Having been in private practice for most of my career, I do understand the difficulties with “keeping up” with current recommended practices. I believe if more physicians attended regional meeting such as SAAOG or national meetings then they would be exposed to the most advanced ideas in patient care. Our colleagues would also get to discuss topics with a wide range of physicians to reduce barriers to changing their practices.
I enjoy gardening and being outdoors. Pulling weeds and pruning is great therapy!
In college, I got my private pilots license with an instrument rating.
However, I have not “flown” since medical school.
Being a pilot drilled into me the importance of checklists and safety training.
I was the first woman president of the Florida Ob/GYN Society, and the second female president of my County Medical Society. I have a special interest in women in leadership and enjoy mentoring younger colleagues.