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Caring for Generations of Women

From a young age, obstetrician and gynecologist (OB-GYN) Ann Marie McDermott, MD, with LVPG Obstetrics and Gynecology–Palmer Township and LVPG Obstetrics and Gynecology–Pond Road in Allentown, knew she wanted to practice medicine.

“Some kids waver in what they want to do when they grow up. It sounds hokey, but I never wavered! I knew I wanted to be a doctor, and the sciences appealed to me,” says Dr. McDermott. “My mother was a teacher, and she said to me, ‘This is your goal. Aspire to it and go for it.’ I never waffled.”

Falling in love with OB-GYN field

Born and raised in Jamaica, she came to the United States at 16. New Jersey was her home base throughout undergrad and medical school, until she came to the Lehigh Valley in 1995 for residency. Dr. McDermott completed her residency at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and has been a practicing physician since 1999.

Initially, Dr. McDermott thought she wanted to be a pediatrician. But after completing her obstetrics rotation, she was hooked. “I fell in love with it. I loved every bit,” she says. “I get to deliver babies, bond with family and continue care.”

Returning to LVHN

After practicing at Easton Hospital, she came back to Lehigh Valley Health Network in May 2020.

“I’ve come full circle with my medical practice,” she says. “Lehigh Valley Health Network is like home. Their philosophies melt into my philosophy. I love that patient care is at the forefront of what they do, and it drives them. So, it was an easy decision for me to come back.” 

And she continues to provide personalized, warm care.

“My care philosophy is: ‘Treat your patients like your family, and to treat them like you think you’d want your family or yourself to be treated.’ I give them personalized care,” she says. “You find out more about them as a person, not a patient, and they really open up.”

Caring for generations of women

One of the most rewarding things about this is treating generations of women from the same family.

“I have one family that I take care of four generations of women,” Dr. McDermott says. “It gives me a sense of pride.”

Connecting with her patients, whether in-person or via telemedicine, fuels her passion for care.

“I love to listen. I’m always learning something new from my patients. They lift me up and remind me why I’m here. And they make me laugh!” she says. “I’m a very down to earth person and very approachable, and patients pick up on that. I treat you as family.” 

Personalized care, even during pandemic

While the current pandemic has changed many things, she’s still focused on seeing patients and delivering empathetic care.

“The pandemic has brought so many changes in life and in medicine. It’s forced us to continue good patient care and make sure patients don’t fall through the cracks,” she says. “Telemedicine has made it possible to serve our patients without in-person contact but still seeing them face-to-face.”

And while she can’t hug her patients during these times, she’s found safer ways to connect.

“We do our elbow bumps instead of hugs, and I make sure I'm smiling really broadly under this mask,” she says.

As she continues to care for patients during these unprecedented times, she is holding true to her care philosophies.

“The positive side of the pandemic is that I’ve not disrupted care to my patients,” she says. “I’m dedicated to helping each woman who trusts me with her care to live her healthiest life.” 

Make time for your care. Schedule an appointment with Dr. McDermott at LVHN.org/McDermott.