Imagine, doctors in developing countries being trained in online classes rather than going to med schools in foreign countries — and, statistics show, often remaining abroad instead of returnnig to impoverished homelands. In fact, such use of technology is moving into reality now, according to “The Doctors” Dr. Lisa M. Masterson. And she ought to know, because her Maternal Fetal Care International (MFCI) organization is making it happen.
Dr. Masterson founded the firstOB/GYN residency program in sub-Saharan Africa, in Eritrea, in addition to starting birthing clinics in Kenya and India. “Instead of spending the $6,000 it would cost to fly me there, I’m going to teach classes by Skype and then donate that money toward equipment,” she explains.
The remarkable medico can move with seeming ease from seeing patients in her private practice in Santa Monica, to her work as a staff physician (at L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica and UCLA), to chatting with celebrity moms on TV about potty training toddlers on “The Doctors” — to addressing the United Nations. In fact, a segment on her recent speech before the U.N. is being included on Tuesday’s (11/2) edition of “The Doctors.”
“I literally think my whole body was on edge,” before her address, admits the attractive Masterson. “My mission was just to try to open people’s eyes as much as possible. The response was overwhelming — so many people were asking me about my charity and what I do, and how to work together.”
Masterson’s efforts toward decreasing maternal and infant mortality
rates fit perfectly into the U.N.’s millennial goals, which is why she’s already
working with the international organization. Sometimes, she says, “The answer is in the palm of our hand, and it quite literally is. Technology has made equipment like the ultrasound that’s the size of a cell phone. There are fetal monitors that women can take with them, that allow doctors to monitor women from hospitals or offices. Well, how come we can’t monitor a woman from Africa, then? We’re testing it out here.”
Dr. Lisa, as she’s known to “The Doctors” fans, has an autobiography coming out next year, and it’s bound to be gripping. “Sometimes it’s difficult to go back over painful times, but going through them that’s how I got to where I am. Because I’m doing so much of what I want to do, some people have the idea I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth or something like that, but I wasn’t,” she says. She admits it wasn’t easy to open up, that it’s not her personality. However, she adds, “I had a lot of great female role models in my life. On the show, I’m the only woman. If telling my story can inspire a lot of girls to know that they can achieve their goals, it will be well worth it.”