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Women's Lifestyle Magazine

Ask The Expert: Dr. Shannon Madison - Christian Healthcare Centers

Apr 30, 2020 02:14PM ● By WLMagazine

Meet Dr. Shannon Madison, the new Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology for Christian Healthcare Centers - Grand Rapids, MI, a direct primary care multispecialty medical practice on the northeast side of Grand Rapids.

Dr. Madison attended college at Miami University of Ohio and earned her MD at the University of Cincinnati in 2014. Medical school was life-changing in many ways; she met her wonderful physician husband, Chris, his very first day. She then completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Wright State University, where she served as administrative chief resident.

“My job is not just pap smears and catching babies. The scope
of practice is much broader and includes education related to lifestyle changes that decrease cancer risks.”

Dr. Shannon Madison

During her residency, she received the Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Academic Achievement Award. After residency, Dr. Madison joined Wright State University’s OB/GYN faculty. In June 2019 she received the ACOG National Faculty Award as well as the Physician Role Model Award. She then moved to Grand Rapids where she has had the immense privilege of starting the Obstetrics and Gynecology program for Christian Healthcare Centers (CHC).

Dr. Madison is passionate about educating and supporting women. She is committed to going the extra mile to provide detailed, personal health care to all her patients.

My Role As Your OBGYN

What is one thing you want all women to know?

Women need to take time to focus on their own health! As women, we often take care of everyone else at our own expense and forget that we need to be mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy to be able to serve others and live our lives to the fullest, the way God intended. Take the time to invest in yourself by investing in your health. Don’t neglect yourself!

What is the primary role of an OB/GYN?

Most people think of “pap smears and catching babies” when they think about an OB/GYN. While that is important, our scope of practice is much broader and includes women of all ages. Since breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women, uterine cancer affects 1 in 39 and ovarian cancer affects 1 in 70, much of my job is screening for cancer and teaching women about lifestyle changes to decrease risk and live healthier lives. Additional areas of expertise include evaluating and treating abnormal periods, PCOS, pelvic pain, urine leakage, pelvic organ prolapse, hot flashes, and concerns about sexual intimacy.

Are annual or routine appointments really necessary?

Yes! It is important to visit your OB/GYN annually to establish a normal pattern for your health and talk through changes and concerns as you age. You can significantly decrease your risk simply by getting screened regularly and making a few small lifestyle changes.  Family planning is another important part of annual visits; did you know that ideally, women should start prenatal vitamins 3 months before getting pregnant?

What is direct primary care (DPC)?

My family likes to use the phrase “concierge medicine” as a synonym for direct primary care. While there are similarities (neither bill health insurance), direct primary care tries to make health care affordable, whereas concierge medicine can be quite costly. One of the ways CHC provides affordable care is through Healthy Tomorrows, a program that makes prenatal care available at no cost to financially disadvantaged women. Since CHC is a direct primary care practice, I can make decisions that are best for an individual, not based on insurance company mandates.

What is different about a DPC OB/GYN?

As a multidisciplinary office, I have internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, counseling, and ultrasound, all in one building. The camaraderie we share as providers allow us to care for the whole person. Underlying depression or anxiety can exacerbate medical conditions, so providing on-site counseling can have an immense impact on patients’ quality of life. I am also afforded time to deeply know my patients and understand their needs with 90-minute new patient appointments, allowing me to get to the root cause and help provide health and healing. 

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