Dr. Coby Brown is a Southern Utah native and was born and raised in Cedar City. He graduated from Cedar High School. He then served a 2 year LDS mission in Washington state. After returning home, he attended Southern Utah University graduating Summa Cum Laud. He then attended medical school at the University of Utah. He completed his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ and then went on to complete his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Virginia Health System. He is married to Stephani Brown who is also from Cedar City. They are the proud parents of four children.
Why did you choose to become an OB/GYN?
I grew up in a family where there were quite a few doctor’s. My grandpa’s brothers were both family medicine doctors and at that point, in Cedar City, it was a small enough community they kind of did everything. They delivered babies. They took care of everybody in the community. My dad’s sister is an OB/GYN. I guess because I grew up around doctor’s it was the course I took, starting from when I was a kid. That was the course I took through high school and never changed my mind. I completed my undergraduate degree in Cedar City and attended medical school at the University of Utah. I was planning to be in emergency medicine or be a general surgeon. When I began working in all of the different specialities you find out quickly what you like and don’t like. I fell in love with women’s health as a medical student. I really liked that it had aspects of all the different things I liked in one specialty.
I really fell in love with the fact that I had a really wide range of different things I get to do, so my day are never the same—my days are never boring. Patients are usually healthy ad I found out pretty quickly that I enjoy taking care of people that are healthy, generally speaking. It was a good fit for me and I really fell in love with it!
Do you remember your first experience delivering a baby?
The first time I delivered a baby, I was in medical school at the University of Utah. I did my 3rd year medical school clerkship at the Intermountain Medical Center, which is a busy Obstetrics hospital. We worked with a lot of the community physicians. When we were in the hospital, they would let us come and be involved with helping them take care of their patients. The first baby I delivered the attending physician had me get right in there. I had only been in the OB/GYN rotation for a week, so I was brand new and didn’t have any experience. I hadn’t even seen much by way of a deliver. He still got me right in there, in a gown and helped me deliver the baby. It was a unique experience right from the get-go as a medical student, getting to be one-on-one in that position. There’s nothing quite like being in the delivery room and sharing that even with a new couple, especially when everything goes well.
What is your most memorable experience as an OB/GYN?
There are a lot of really good, memorable experience as an OB/GYN. Some of them are memorable for good reasons and some are memorable for not as happy of reasons. I had a patient that came to see me. She had a very complicated medical history growing up. She was diagnosed with a rare type of juvenile ovarian cancer as a teenager and ended up having surgery to remove her ovaries and chemotherapy. As part of the treatment plan, they did do an egg retrieval so she’d have them when she was older. The oncologists were recommending, at the time, to remove her uterus and said it would need to come out at some point. She did get married and they wanted to start a family. They came to me for preconception counseling and I ultimately referred them to one of our local fertility specialists that did her IVF. They were able to get pregnant, but miscarried early on. It was an emotional rollercoaster. When she finally kept a pregnancy that made it to 8 weeks and I was able to see them for the first visit, it was exciting for everybody. We were all very invested in it. People like this want it so badly and have so much invested in it. That makes it such a unique and special thing. There were a few scary things that happened throughout her pregnancy, some ups and downs. Considering her past medical history, we delivered her by a planned c-section. It was one of the most memorable c-sections I can remember. Her husband was there and their whole family was there waiting outside of the operating room. It was a fun environment! They wanted it so badly. There’s no where else you get to be involved in people’s lives on a level like that.
How long have you been with Valley Women’s Health?
I’ve been with Valley Women’s Health just over 3 years. I started here right out of residency. This was my first job. I started in July 2015. It’s a unique things that got me here. After my residency in Virginia, my wife and I hoped to come back to Southern Utah. We have a lot of family here. Even though I had other job offers, we decided to send out a letter of interest. Valley Women’s Health wasn’t actively hiring at the time, but Dr. Rogers called me saying they had been considering adding another partner to the group. A couple weeks after we set up a time for an interview, they called me back because Dr. Rogers had received a mission call and was leaving much sooner than he thought. They were definitely needing a new partner. My wife and I came for the interview and we knew it was the right spot as soon as we got here.
This is a great group here. They are a well-respected group of doctor’s here in St. George that has been part of the community for a long time. Patients like the clinic here. They like their providers. I get along well with my partners. It’s a fun place to come to work. Everybody here enjoys their jobs and it’s a fun team place to work.
What is your favorite thing about being an OB/GYN?
I’m going to have to give you two favorites here. I have to say that I really have a love for the operating room, for surgery. That is a passion of mine and I love it! Every Wednesday is our operating room day and I look forward to it every week because surgery is exciting and fun. It’s a unique skill being able to directly help people in that way.
On the obstetrics side, I love being there—taking care of a patient through her prenatal care and then being part of the delivery as a patient has her baby is special. You don’t get that anywhere else.
Has there been a patient you’ve connected with?
You get a lot of moments peppered throughout the day for some reason or another. I had a patient that was brand new to me. I got a phone call late in the evening from the ER saying that this patient was there. They were new to the area. She went to the ER because of new on-set pain and after a lot of testing in the emergency room, they hadn’t been able to figure out where all her pain was coming from. As part of her imaging she had a funny looking ovarian cyst, which wasn’t in the location of where her pain was, but they couldn’t find anything else so they decided to admit her. When I came to the hospital, her family was there. They were worried and not sure what was going on. We ultimately ended up taking this patient to surgery because she continued to have worsening pain and we weren’t able to pinpoint where it was coming from. Other doctor’s had seen her and thought it was her appendix. I took her to surgery where I discovered she had an ovary that was torsing and causing all of the pain. We addressed that surgically. It was really fun to see her after she woke up from surgery when she felt immediate relief. It’s fun to make a difference in people’s lives.
What do you wish all women could know?
Throughout my practice, I’ve realized there are countless reasons why people come to the doctor. Some patients come in to check their boxes for their preventative care. Other people come in because they are having problems with one thing or another. We see all different kinds of complaints. I would say that the thing I always feel bad about is when I find out that patients have been struggling with something—whether it’s a bleeding issue, urinary incontinence issues, hormone issues or something else—and they’ve been too nervous to come see us. I’m always surprised how often I see patients and they have been suffering for a long time. That’s probably the biggest thing I wish women could know is that, generally speaking, you don’t have to be ashamed or afraid to stand up for yourself, to come talk to us about thing that are bothering you. If something is not right in your life, you’re not feeling well or you wish there was something that was better or different, don’t be embarrassed. No woman like to come to the gynecologist, it’s nobody’s favorite thing to do, but don’t be afraid to come talk to us about it because this is what we do!
We, of course, deal with sensitive area’s in women’s lives and sensitive topics that aren’t always easy to talk to somebody else about, but this is what we do. There has to be somewhere you can get the help you need. Don’t be afraid to come talk to us.
If you could have dinner with anyone from history who would you chose as your guest?
While living in Virginia we visited the homes of several of the founding Fathers – It made me think of what it would be like to meet George Washington in person.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you?
I can’t stand eyeballs! It makes my eyes water just watching someone put a contact lens in their eye. Most women dread going to the gynecologist – for me it is the eye doctor!
Who are some of the most influential people that have been in your life?
My Parents – I have amazing parents who have always pushed me to be my best and have taught me the value of hard work. Secondly, my wife I have known my wife Stephani since high school – she has been my #1 supporter and manages to put up with me through it all.
What is your favorite sweet treat?
Homemade brownies and Diet Coke.
Tell us, do you have any hidden talents?
I have a good memory and memorize things easily – I am full of useless trivia facts… my wife always tells me I need to be on a game show.
Do you have a favorite song?
This is a tough one because I have a lot of favorites – however my wife teases me because when I am stressed or angry I always listen to classical piano music.
If you have 30 min spare time, how would you be spending it?
I love being outdoors, even if I am just sitting and relaxing. I also love to read – I usually have a few books I am reading at the same time.
Do you have a favorite family recipe?
My grandmothers pork chops with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy.
Are you a routine person? Tell us about your daily routine.
This one is actually quite funny, I am teased about how routine and obsessive I am about things. When I get home from work – I can’t relax until the house is straightened up (sometimes it drives my wife crazy)
If you had to give up one sense, which would you pick?
I would have to say smell – my sense of smell isn’t very good to begin with so I would probably miss it the least.
Do you play any musical instruments?
I played the trumpet (not well) in band through high school. I also dabble with the piano but wish I was better.
Why did you chose your profession?
Ever since I was a kid I always wanted to be a doctor and I stuck with it. I chose OBGYN because I love the variety of things I get to do – delivering babies, surgery, preventative care, etc. my days are never boring!
What do you like most about career?
I love that I get to spend my days interacting with and meeting new people – I would probably die if I was stuck in a cubicle all day.
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