Provider Feature: Heather A. Dabling, M.D.
Dr. Dabling graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine, and completed her residency with George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She has been a practicing physician since 2011 and is Board Eligible in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Originally from the Orem/Provo area, many of you know her as a friend or family. She has 3 children and in her spare time enjoys sports, cooking, being outdoors and spending time with her family. Dr. Dabling is with our Provo OB/GYN Group and we enjoyed getting to know her more. We hope you do too!
Why did you choose to become an OB/GYN?
The thing I like about Obstetrics is that it’s a combination of a lot of other specialties. We have time in the clinic and hospital and we see old and young patients—there’s a variety to it. I always wanted to be a physician, but know I wanted to do OB. Originally I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician until I was in medical school where I fell in love with my OB rotation. The patients we took care of in that rotation were great! I’m excited to come to work every day and I’m glad that I chose the career I did.
Do you remember your first, or most memorable experience, delivering a baby?
I remember my very first delivery as a medical student. It’s really special to be part of this intimate moment in people’s lives, usually a really happy moment in their lives, and I knew I wanted to keep doing that. We deliver a lot of babies but I always tell people that it doesn’t get mundane or routine because it’s special for every family. That gets transmitted to us too. It’s fun every time! Our skills are the same but the situation is different every time.
What do you love about working with Valley Women’s Health?
I’ve been with Valley Women’s Health for 6 years and a practicing physician for 8 years. The most notable thing is that the physicians, nurses and staff here really care about their patients and want to do the best for their patients. They are willing to step in and go the extra mile to do the right thing for every single patient. In particular, my partners are so supportive, they love their job and that is very apparent. That alone makes it a pleasant place to work. I was a patient here and it made it a pleasant place to be a patient, especially when you know the people taking care of you really have your best interest in mind.
What is your favorite thing about being an OB/GYN?
Delivering babies. Delivering babies is fun!
What do you wish all women could know?
I wish all women knew that they’re always doing better than they think they are. A lot of the patients that we see feel overwhelmed or feel that they aren’t doing enough for themselves, for their children and for their families. They’re always doing better than they think they are.
Has there been a patient or family you’ve connected with?
It’s been unique for me because I grew up here. A lot of patients that I take care of, I’ve had a relationship with them outside of medicine and that’s really special. One of the things I really enjoy is taking care of people that are friends or family. The other one is sometimes in our field is when things are bad, they’re really tragic for people. You feel an extra close bond to people. We see patients at their highest highs and their lowest lows. To go through that with a woman or a family really bonds you to them. Some of the most special experiences are, when you’ve gone through something really hard with someone, seeing them go through a better experiences later.
When it comes to loss, what is important for women to know?
It’s not their fault. Things can happen and, most of the time, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things we can do to help people get through hards times and have a better experience in the future. Typically one of the struggles patients have is 1) that they’ve done something wrong and 2) that they will never be able to fix the problem, which a lot of times we can.
Tell us about your family.
My husband and I met in college, dated for 2 years and were married in 2001. We’re coming up on 18 years! We have 3 children – 2 boys and a girl. They are 10, 7 and 4, so they’re little ones. My oldest was born in Washington, D.C. while I was in residency. He’s so obedient, hard working and a very smart little boy. He loves skiing, riding his bike and is just a good big brother! My daughter is so fun! She’s the one with endless energy, bounces off the walls and is so silly. She’s a dancer, gymnast and just you girls’ girl who is very social and very active. My little one is 4. He’s as big as his siblings and is so fun! Everything out of his mouth is funny, he loves to play and be outside and do stuff with his older siblings. He’s learning to read and he learned to ski this year too.
What is your favorite treat?
I like fruit. My favorite treat is probably strawberries or anything with strawberries in it.
Is there something patients don’t know about you?
A lot of patients ask if I have kids, so they find that out. I’m a mother, just like them.
What are your hobbies or favorite things to do?
I like to read. My favorite book is Count of Monte Cristo.
With my family we like to be outdoors—skiing, hiking and swimming. We like to travel. We’re the Disney faze right now, so most of our vacations are geared toward Disney,.
What is something that always puts you in a good mood?
The thing that puts me in a good mood is getting outside and going for a walk. I love walking anytime of the year. I’ll go after work with my kids, if they want to go.
What is your favorite restaurant?
My favorite restaurant is the Tree Room up at Sundance. We usually go for our anniversary.