Dr. Maggie Carpenter attended medical school at SUNY-Downstate Medical School and it was there that she became aware of family medicine. Dr. Carpenter says “I knew I wanted to do women’s health but I really liked the idea of being able to serve all my patients needs and the needs of their families. Making sure that I was able to offer my patients all the reproductive health care options they might need was important to me so when I was looking at residency programs I chose a program in Seattle that offered a rotation in abortions up to 14 weeks.”
After she completed her residency, Dr. Carpenter moved to Kansas where she enjoyed the full scope of family medicine including obstetrics. After a year working as a general practitioner in New Zealand she moved to Brooklyn and started at Early Options. Here she was able to focus on providing the full range of contraceptive options for her patients. Eventually, she moved to New Paltz, NY where she joined the Institute for Family Health and eventually became involved as an educator for the Mid-Hudson Family Practice Residency.
“When I first began my work at the clinic in New Paltz, we were not offering IUD insertions or abortions—we were not even offering pap smears in a lot of cases. There were so many people in need and people could see this so we began to work with the staff to get them trained in providing these services. At first there was hesitancy but people began to see these patients in need and how grateful they were to have this kind of access to care and within 6 months everyone was on board. Now it is an integral part of what we do. Our residents are now going on to offer these reproductive health care services in their practices and they are able to have an impact across the US.”
Dr. Carpenter continues to teach young doctors at the Mid-Hudson Family Practice Residency on a part-time basis and in addition, she has founded and runs a nonprofit called, Go Doc Go, which sends volunteer doctors to the developing world.
“We do cervical cancer screening in Ethiopia and Senegal and we are looking at going down to Haiti to offer LARC insertion in the near future. So many women do not have access to the full range of reproductive health care.”
Dr. Carpenter is committed to improving our current health system and she hopes to use her experience and expertise to improve reproductive health care and primary care services for people worldwide. We are so grateful to Dr. Carpenter for all the great work she is doing to make reproductive health more accessible to everyone.
You can learn more about the work she is doing abroad at godocgo.org.