Collette Lessard, M.D.
What attracted you to obstetrics and gynecology?
A career in obstetrics and gynecology was not on my radar until I rotated through the department as a medical student. During those eight weeks on rotation, I had two outstanding physician mentors. Obstetrics and gynecology is unique because it’s a combination of primary care, surgery and procedures. The days (and nights) are exciting and unpredictable. There are many specialty fellowships to pursue for a narrower career focus.
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for residency training?
During my fourth year of medical school, I spent a month at Mayo for a visiting medical student rotation. The faculty and residents are what separates this residency program from the rest. They have a strong work ethic and exemplify teamwork. Residents are exposed to a large volume of diverse cases, while still maintaining a healthy balance between service and education. The faculty support for resident education and research is outstanding.
What makes the Mayo Clinic obstetrics and gynecology residency unique?
The people are truly unique. I feel fortunate to be in a program in which faculty and residents collaborate so well. We are friends and colleagues. Anyone who visits our program sees the camaraderie of our residents and the mutual respect we have for one another.
Anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
I had been expecting the Mayo environment to be intimidating and hierarchical, but that is not the case. The faculty and senior residents and fellows – even amongst other departments – are very approachable. Everyone here works side-by-side to ensure the best patient care.
What is living in Rochester like for you?
I grew up on a farm in North Dakota, but also spent my four years of college living in metropolitan Phoenix, Ariz. Rochester is the “happy middle” of these two extremes. It has much of the culture and amenities of a larger city, but without the traffic and crowds. One of my favorite aspects of living in Rochester is the active community. There are miles and miles of beautiful, outdoor trails throughout the city and country. There is a variety of athletic teams and activities in the community as well. The Mayo Fellows Association does an excellent job coordinating activities for residents and their families.
What does your future look like right now?
Ultimately, I would like to work in an academic environment in which I can have a career that includes clinical medicine, research and education. I may apply for a fellowship after residency.