Richa Sood, M.D.

What attracted you to women's health?

Women's Health came as a natural choice to me after I completed residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology in India and another residency in Internal Medicine in the US. The field offered me a balance between addressing specific women's issues and having an in-depth understanding of the overall context of disease in humans. It also offered me an opportunity to address specific issues in women while providing them the necessary expertise and the time that is generally not available to the primary physicians.

What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for fellowship training?

The first thing that attracted me to Mayo was the clinic's reputation. Visiting Mayo Clinic for the first time was a memorable experience. Meeting the highly accomplished yet down-to-earth faculty was very inspiring.

I was looking for a program that would offer a good mix of clinical and research experiences. I had explored the structure of the women's health fellowships at other universities and found that Mayo's training offered the optimal balance of clinical and research experience that I felt was necessary to hone my skills in women's health.

What makes the Mayo Clinic subspecialty training in Women's Health unique?

Mayo offers broad-based training in women's health. Clinical training is dedicated to seeing women patients in various disciplines, including breast diseases, infertility issues, endocrine problems, women's heart issues, urogynecology concerns and many more. Working with accomplished and experienced physicians who are leaders in their respective field is a very rich experience.

Another outstanding feature of the training is the research aspect. Fellows are able to participate in a certificate or master's program in clinical research, which is an important step in progressing towards an academic career. Also, the fellows are able to attend weekly Medical Grand rounds and other specific meetings depending on their clinical rotations. Fellows are also given the opportunity to attend a CME course during their training to enrich their experience and start networking with leaders in the field.

Did anything surprise you about Mayo's program?

This place is a very unusual combination of structure in the middle of flexibility, world-class expertise in the middle of humility, and high-tech environment in the middle of a congenial working culture. The system works exceptionally well as a whole because each piece of the machinery — the physicians, the nurses, the allied staff and administrative staff — are individually exceptionally good and enjoy working together.

What is living in Rochester like for you?

Rochester is a nice little community that offers the benefits of a small town (less time spent commuting, less traffic and less crime) while providing the benefits of an exceptional medical facility, an international airport and an excellent school system.

I grew up in New Delhi and have lived in New York, Washington and Nevada before moving here. Rochester offers me a more relaxed and 'at ease' feeling than I've felt at any other place. My daughter loves the snow. We are slowly beginning to explore the fun of Rochester winters now. From time to time, we travel to the Twin Cities for big-city amusements and the Mall of America.

What does your future look like right now?

I have been on staff at Mayo for four years after completing my fellowship. I have used my skills from the fellowship training at the Women's Health Clinic, treating women with menopausal, hormonal and sexual concerns. I have pursued my research interests by completing a clinical trial exploring the pharmacokinetics of bioidentical compounded hormones, as well as exploring the role of genomics in affecting estrogen levels. I plan to continue to pursue an academic career balancing a clinical focus with a research focus.

March 29, 2012