Sarah Cross, MD, is an obstetrician-gynecologist who specializes in maternal-fetal medicine, or high-risk pregnancies. While she wishes no one would have a complicated pregnancy, she is honored to be there when things get challenging.
“Advocating for women is nearest and dearest to my heart. I chose maternal-fetal medicine to address urgent public health issues that face pregnant and postpartum individuals, including the disparities in birth outcomes, such as prematurity, and maternal mortality,” Dr. Cross says.
Within maternal-fetal medicine, Dr. Cross is especially interested in periviability, which is the cusp of neonatal viability—usually 22 to 23 weeks—and counseling patients who encounter issues at this stage of pregnancy. Much of what maternal-fetal medicine specialists do is deliver unexpected news. And while Dr. Cross says she can’t make bad news good, she can make a challenging process less difficult for a patient. “Not only do I want my patients to understand the medical information I am giving them, but I want them to feel seen and heard,” she says.
Furthermore, Dr. Cross says she appreciates the many grey areas in obstetrics and that sometimes there isn’t a “right answer.” She tries to reach patients where they are. “I can recommend something to a patient but then I want to ask what they think,” she says. “I want to help them make safe choices that are right for them.”
In addition to providing prenatal care, consultations, and fetal ultrasounds, Dr. Cross is involved in teaching and research. “One of my projects is teaching medical trainees to do high-stakes counseling, especially when the prognosis is unclear,” Dr. Cross says. “We use simulations so residents will have practice before having these hard conversations with patients.”