Williamsville, NY – Dr. William Dillon has dedicated his career to maternal-fetal medicine, a sub-specialty of OB/GYN for high-risk pregnancies.
“It goes back to medical school. I was fascinated by the birthing process, so it was natural for me to go into OB/GYN,” says Dr. Dillon. “I was fortunate enough to find great mentors and I decided that I really wanted to focus on poor women who are high-risk pregnancies, women with diseases, hypertension, diabetes, who have a rougher time with their pregnancy than a person in their 20s pregnant for the first time and perfectly healthy.”
Now retired, Dr. Dillon looks back on his nearly 50 years of dedication to the health concerns of babies and mothers who need extra care.
“One of the reasons I went into maternal-fetal medicine is because I'm compassionate,” says Dr. Dillon. “Most people think obstetrics is a happy specialty, but it can be very devastating. An awful lot of things can go wrong in obstetrics so there's an awful lot of sorrow as well.”
Of course, such tragedies are emotionally fraught, and patients look for someone to blame. Dr. Dillon says if you can develop a relationship, they are more than willing to move through the tragedy in a healthy way, an extremely important part of medicine.
“You need compassion to care for mothers who have been told their baby is not normal or that their baby has died in utero. Prepare the patient, keep them informed along the way and be available for them to work through the sorrow that will come. If you don't have that skill, you might be a technically competent doctor, but you're not doing your patients a service. These patients need a lot of support and a lot of help and a lot of compassion.”
Dr. William Dillon is Professor Emeritus at SUNY Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.