In this interview, Ingrid Rodi, Brown University class of 1976, MD ’79, discusses the ways that the COVID-19 global pandemic impacted her work as an infertility specialist and reproductive endocrinologist.
Rodi begins by detailing her family’s legacy at Brown including her grandfather, who was a member of the class of 1905, and her grandmother who graduated in the class of 1911. She goes on to explain that she thought it was important to participate in the oral history project because of how important it is to record responses to significant events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. She remembers being on a professional trip to China in September 2019 and realizing soon after that travel to and from China would be halted for at least a year when COVID-19 emerged. She briefly mentions how she prepared her household for the pandemic and how patients who lived abroad were slowly prohibited from traveling to her practice in Los Angeles.
Rodi goes on to explain how she had to tell fertility patients that they had to postpone treatment. She adds that it was initially unclear whether it was safe to even recommend pregnancy during the pandemic. She notes an increase in patients with anxiety and depression and her practice’s development of support groups for physicians that are moderated by psychologists. She emphasizes that many physicians feel as though they have been “put in harm’s way needlessly” and in such a way that it “may impact the relationship between society and physicians for a long time.”