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Faculty Spotlight: Jennifer Eaton, MD

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

We are all busy in our day to day activities and we don’t get to spend much time together. The purpose of the faculty spotlight series is for our faculty to get to know each other a little better.  A different faculty member will be highlighted in each of our newsletters.  The first of our new "faculty spotlight" series begins with Jennifer Eaton, MD.  

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in rural Littleton, New Hampshire.  Littleton is a town of 5,000 people located in the White Mountains.  My graduating high school class had 50 people in it.

Tell us about your family.

I met my husband, Sam, during med student orientation week at Columbia.  We met on a bus to the Bronx zoo, have been together ever since and married for 13 years.  Sam is a urologist specializing in minimally invasive surgery at Duke Raleigh Hospital.   

We have a daughter and a son.  Our two dogs, Felix and Oscar​ were rescued from a shelter when they were puppies.  They are litter mates and the shelter didn’t want to separate them, so we took both of them!

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

My husband and I are avid skiers and spend as much time as we can out west on the slopes.   We are an active family and enjoy running and cycling as much as we can on the weekends.  We are also foodies and like to eat out.

What is your specialty? 

I am a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in infertility and hormonal disorders of women.  I am the Medical Director of Assisted Reproductive Technology and the Director of the Oocyte Donation Program here at Duke Fertility Center.

Is there any specific area related to your profession that you are particularly passionate about? What inspired you to pursue your specialty? 

I am passionate about helping all patients build their families.   For many of our  patients, the journey to parenthood is not how they imagined it.   It is tremendously rewarding to educate patients about all of their options, and help them choose the path that is right for them.

What do you enjoy most about Duke? 

I love working with fellows and residents.  It is the most rewarding aspect of my job and one of the main reasons I went into academics.

How long have you been at Duke? 

I have been at Duke for 3 years.

What in particular excites you about treating/managing patients in your specialty? Is there a particular story that’s inspiring?  

As an REI specialist, I see miracles happen every day.   A young patient with chemotherapy-induced ovarian failure was planning for an IVF cycle with donor oocytes.  She had been amenorrheic for years.  When she came in for her baseline scan before starting IVF, she told me she had been gaining weight and felt bloated.  Sure enough, when I scanned her, she was pregnant.  Amazing experiences like this happen every day at Duke Fertility Center, and I am so glad to be a part of them.