Born in Ghana, raised in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Lanalee Araba Sam is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
She is the Medical Director and Founder of Elite Obstetrics & Gynecology www.eliteobgyn.com Dr. Sam is a specialist in robotic minimally invasive surgery, as well as, creator of Elite’s exclusive Concierge Pregnancy program. She is happily divorced, with a fabulous thirteen year old son. An avid reader, global traveler, motivational speaker and competitive triathlete, in 2015 Dr. Sam climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with a team of 20, to help raise over one million dollars to increase awareness of human trafficking. More information on her can be found at http://www.drsam.md.com
I STILL adore delivering babies, even after 20 plus years of doing so and thousands of babies! SHHHH!!!!! Don’t give away the secret to my inner glow and happiness.
That’s right, the beautiful jewelry and clothing notwithstanding, what keeps me young, vibrant and radiant is the infusion of joy I am blessed with every single time I receive the gift of bringing a new life into this world. Three hours before these pictures were shot, I was in the delivery room with a couple I had been with from the very first moment at 6weeks when we saw a 9mm “blob” with a heartbeat on ultrasound. My Concierge Pregnancy patient, her husband and I had gone through at least 15 plus office visits and nine months of intimate interactions including the usual hormonal roller-coaster, late night texts, anxiety and concerns which were swept away for all of us in the instant that their baby girl was born healthy and screaming her arrival at 147pm. I was home by 3pm, with makeup at 4pm and Ivana snapping these pictures by 515pm capturing my “secret” a.k.a. the afterglow of another “Elite” delivery.
The joys of childbirth notwithstanding, the majority of my practice has been dedicated to gynecology patients and specifically robotic assisted minimally invasive surgery. As a single mother, athlete and full time working woman I particularly understand and empathize with the women that come to see me needing surgery, but without the time to allocate to a long recovery, extended hospital stay and permanent scarring of their abdomens with traditional large hysterectomy scars. Since 2014 I have been able to offer “scar-less” hysterectomy surgery through the bellybutton, with same day discharge and two week recovery. An example of a patient story that keeps me doing what I do, is the satisfaction I got from performing a robotic assisted single incision hysterectomy on a busy Mom with precancerous cells whose passion is running the first week of January of 2016, and hearing of her triumph in completing the Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon just 6 weeks later in February!
What else drives me? The fact that despite both the figurative and literal mountains I have climbed including the summiting of Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2015, I am STLL not sure what I want to be when I grow up.
It has been over 23 years since I began medical school, at that point feeling I had reached the pinnacle of my childhood aspirations. However, the hedonic treadmill I have run on all my life, seems to keep going faster with my insatiable thirst for life and a never-ending quest for “What Next”!? What more can I learn? What more can I see? Where can I go and who can I yet be?
As I described above, each new baby I am privileged to bring into the world remains a miracle, along with the incredible gratification from every life I improve through robotic surgery. Yet, as with so many N. Americans, I remain an intermittent poster child for both affluenza and imposter syndrome. What words of wisdom do I have to share today and aspire to internalize myself?
It’s NEVER too late to have a happy childhood AND the BEST time to do so is when you are an adult, with the means to facilitate it. Work to live, do NOT live only to work, conscientiously schedule more play time, never stop learning and find FUN! May I heed my own words as I heartily proclaim, “Physician heal thyself!” because #thosewhocanMUST.
Twitter @DrSamOBGYN Instagram @FirstDocstar
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