Former Monmouth University player Michelle (Zook) Gainty, class of 2009, is an obstetrician and gynecologist at Winn Army Community Hospital in Fort Stewart, Ga. She played four seasons for the Hawks from 2005-08 and was part of the Northeast Conference tournament championship team in 2007. The Gambrills, Md. native graduated with a degree in biology as well as a minor in chemistry.

By Michelle (Zook) Gainty
Special to FrontRowSoccer.com

After graduating from Monmouth in 2009, I worked at the National Institutes of Health for two years, performing research on alcoholism. I obtained my medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2015, then completed residency in Fort Bragg, N.C. as an OB/GYN.

Playing collegiate soccer helped me fine tune my multitasking and time management skills by teaching me how to juggle both a high level of academic and athletic achievements. This certainly has carried over into my current career. OB/GYN is a field that requires a healthy amount of multitasking which pulls the provider between clinical, labor floor and surgical needs. Add in the leadership and tasking requirements of the Army, and good time management certainly becomes a necessary skill.

One of the main challenges that my field is facing right now is that the obstetrical patient is dynamically different than a non-pregnant patient, with drastically altered respiratory, cardiovascular and immunologic systems. Learning how to care for such patients in a time when the most effective management for the non-obstetric patient is still being determined, makes for a unique challenge.

When it comes to advising others on what to do during this interesting time, I remind others that guidelines are changing on a daily basis. Therefore, I frequently search for the most up-to-date CDC guidelines and recommend others do the same. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is another reliable resource for those seeking female-specific guidelines. These are both readily available with a simple internet search.

As for my last thoughts, I recommend staying active (my husband and I run together most days of the week) to maintain a healthy immune system and high spirits. Also, supporting those in healthcare and in the military will only further maintain elevated spirits and national pride. Tough times are easier to get through when you have support around you.