February 2024Milestones

Dr. Roberta Shear named Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology

As the JGH’s new Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Roberta Shear says she is committed to building on her department’s many strengths—notably, outstanding care for women with high-risk pregnancies or with gynecologic cancers—while working to make virtual care available to certain patients.

Dr. Shear, a member of attending staff since 2000, says she sees “a lot of potential for growth” in the Virtual Care program, which includes the award-winning Hospital@Home. Patients who meet specific criteria can return home, where they receive care remotely and their condition is monitored digitally.

“Of course, there are limitations to virtual care in obstetrics: Women can’t deliver their babies in their living rooms,” she says with a chuckle. “However, this sort of care would be ideal for some of our high-risk patients.

“In fact, we’ve already begun to work on a project, which is still in its embryonic stage, to determine more precisely which high-risk pregnancies would benefit from virtual care and how it would be delivered. For some patients, it would be a much better alternative to staying in the hospital for weeks on end.

“New ideas and new perspectives will help carry us into the future, as long as they’re grounded in the strengths that already define who we are.”

“In addition, it might be beneficial in post-partum care. We might be able to shorten the hospital stay of some mothers who have had a caesarean, if we determine it’s safe for the mother and baby to receive virtual care at home.”

Dr. Shear also expresses pride in her department’s excellence in obstetrical and gynecological care; its status as one of Quebec’s five tertiary-care referral centres for high-risk pregnancies; and the use of robotic surgery in the Division of Gyne-Oncology under its Director (and former Chief of the department), Dr. Walter Gotlieb.

During her career at the JGH, Dr. Shear, who is an Assistant Professor at McGill University, has served in various capacities, including as Director of the Division of Obstetrics, Director of the Division of Obstetrical Ultrasound, and Assistant Program Director of McGill’s Obstetrics-Gynecology Residency Program.

She has twice won a Best Teacher Award in McGill’s Obstetrics-Gynecology program, and in 2020, she received the Carl Nimrod Award from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. This was in recognition of her “excellence, commitment, innovation and leadership in teaching knowledge, attitudes and skills to the next generation of practitioners.”

The next generation is now prominent in Dr. Shear’s thoughts, given the evolving nature of the public healthcare system and the growing need to recruit and retain the best new prospects.

“We’re always on the lookout for young, energetic and dynamic physicians, nurses and healthcare professionals,” she says. “New ideas and new perspectives will help carry us into the future, as long as they’re grounded in the strengths that already define who we are.”

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