At RMI, our people create our product, which is heavily based on success and support. Our providers are people too and share your hopes, some tears, and joys along the way with you. We wanted to take a minute to catch up with one of our physicians, Dr. Shweta Nayak, M.D to learn more about how and why helping patients get or stay pregnant was the right fit for her.
What do you love most about the field of reproductive medicine?
Dr. Nayak: RE is the perfect intersection between cutting-edge science, personalized medicine, and an incredible opportunity to be part of one of the most joyful journeys that a person takes towards building their family. I love the rapidly evolving technology and contemporary treatment options available to our patients. I tell this to every couple: IVF can be just as diagnostic as it is therapeutic. There are, unfortunately, limitations to our reproductive evaluation. So, when testing reveals no major hurdles and conservative therapy is unsuccessful, we often learn more about the “why” through therapies such as IVF – which is an added benefit to this treatment.
Family is the most important thing to me. So, helping someone else overcome infertility is the best job anyone could have.
What makes RMI different from other fertility centers in Chicago?
Dr. Nayak: We are invested in our patients – we’re on the same team and we want the same outcome! We see every individual as having their own story as well as their own path towards family building. This philosophy of personalized and connected care makes our patients not only feel fully taken care of but also supported, through their journey.
Do you remember the first patient you treated?
Dr. Nayak: Yes! I had originally met them while still in training, so it was an honor to have been chosen by them (after completing fellowship) to take over their care. I will never forget seeing the first positive pregnancy test or hearing the first tiny heartbeat on ultrasound– it is always an incredible reminder of the special role we play and what a true honor that is.
What advice would you give for someone hesitant about seeking fertility care?
Dr. Nayak: You are not alone. In fact, you are one in eight. (And I, too, am one in eight!) Chances are, you have a friend, family member, or neighbor that has gone through is going through, or will go through fertility testing and/or treatment. The hardest part is always taking that leap – making that appointment – but once you do, you won’t regret it. You’ve now found your tribe. Once you’re on the path, just remember that you will always keep moving forward.
What is your favorite book?
Dr. Nayak: Growing up, my favorite book was Little Women. In high school and college, I really enjoyed poetry (Maya Angelou) and novels written by authors of Indian descent (Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy). These days, I consume podcasts and books on tape. My favorite podcasts are Radiolab, This American Life, The Daily, Heavyweight, Embedded – and, of course, the monthly Fertility and Sterility On Air podcast, which gives an overview of the latest in research in reproductive medicine.
Okay, really important question, what was your first concert?
Dr. Nayak: Wow, do patients really want to know this??? Well, if I have to tell you, my first concert was Dave Matthews Band (who I went on to see live a few more times) and my favorite concerts were Radiohead and Beyonce. I grew up playing musical instruments and have always enjoyed live music. Medicine and music are actually very similar.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Dr. Nayak: I love spending time with my husband and children. Since the start of the pandemic, we have gotten very creative about making little adventures for ourselves that keep us laughing. I love togetherness, and although an introvert at heart, I feel most like myself when surrounded by family and close friends. I’m also a foodie thanks to my parents and sisters, who are all incredible cooks. Whether it’s trying new cuisine, restaurant, or simply preparing a meal for my family myself – I find a lot of joy in food.
In the great Chicago debate, are you rooting for the Cubs or the White Sox?
Dr. Nayak: Well, I currently live just a few blocks from Wrigley Field, so… GO CUBS!
Dr. Nayak is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology; she is also a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Nayak is a Clinician Educator for the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and is actively involved in teaching medical students, OBGYN, and Family Practice residents.