Dr. Thorpe has been part of our Provo OB/GYN Group here at Valley Women’s Health for many years! He graduated from the St. Louis University School of Medicine, and went on to complete his residency at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. He has been a practicing physician since 1998 and is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He’s passionate both in his profession and at home. We hope you enjoy getting to know Dr. Thorpe as much as we did!
What is your favorite thing about being an OB/GYN?
I love delivering babies! There’s nothing more exciting, spiritual or wonderful then delivering a baby. Sometimes it’s not as fun at 3:30 am, but it’s always a fun experience. I love delivering babies! I also love caring for women. You can’t be in this profession if you don’t love and respect the women that you’re serving.
Do you have a delivery that has been memorable for you?
Yes, there have been a few that have been memorable—some for good reasons and some for bad reasons. Approximately 17-18 years ago, I had a young lady come into Labor and Delivery with complaints of abdominal pain. We couldn’t really figure out what was going on because her baby looked good on the monitor—things seemed normal. Something still didn’t feel right to me. Part of me was thinking that we should send her home since everything was looking okay, but it just didn’t feel right. I went ahead and ordered an ultrasound and as we were doing the ultrasound, we could see on the ultrasound that her uterus had ruptured at one portion and that the membranes were balloon-ing through the uterus. The baby was just inside the amniotic sac inside my patient’s abdomen. We rushed her back into a cesarean section. Both the mom and baby did well. That was one I’ll never forget because that was a time where things just didn’t feel right. You couldn’t put your finger on anything specific, but it just didn’t feel right and I’m glad we listened to that instinct.
What is the benefit of seeing multiple providers?
We at Valley Women’s Health have tried to employ a different model where we have all of our physicians see all of our obstetrics patients. The benefit of that is that all of our patients will hopefully get to know every physician at that practice. A lot of women would prefer to see the same person again and again and again, which makes sense because then they know that physician and they see a familiar face every time they come into the office. The problem with that model is if your doctor leaves town, then you suddenly have a stranger doing your delivery somebody covering for that doctor.
Another benefit is that you are going to have someone doing your delivery who is not sleep deprived and hasn’t been up for the past 2-3 nights in a row. You get somebody fresh and rested.
And lastly, the other thing that I like about a group practice is that if I see a patient and happen to overlook something, chances are the next doctor will catch that. You have many eyes supervising your pregnancy and I think there is safety in that.
What do you wish all women could know?
I wish women had a better understand of what is normal and what’s not. Many women don’t understand their bodies or their cycle very well. We often have patients come in who are experiencing things that are totally normal, but they don’t know or are unsure. We’re always here to answer those questions, but I think it’s important for women to know their bodies and know what’s normal for them so they have more confidence in themselves.
What are your hobbies and favorite things to do?
I am a golf addict. As far as addictions go, that’s not a bad one to have. It’s a stupid game, but a wonderful game. It’s a game I have a love/hate relationship with and that’s why I keep coming back. So, I’m a golf addict. I’m also a music nut. Anyone who knows anything about me knows I listen to music constantly. I’m always trying to find new things. I’m frequently attending concerts, trying to seek out live venues. For me, music feeds my soul. That’s a big part of me life.
Do you have a favorite band or singer?
Ohhh…. I really like Eric Clapton. Classic rock-n-roll. But my interests run from old country to new age punk.
What song always put you in a good mood?
“Peaceful Easy Feeling” by The Eagles. The acoustic guitar just makes my heart sing.
Do you play a musical instrument?
I play the guitar. I’ve played the guitar since I was in grade school. I have a Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar and a Guild Acoustic Guitar. I’m not very good… at all. But it sure gives me joy to sit down and play.
Do you have a routine?
Yes, I usually get up at 5 am. I usually work out before I come to work—30 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of high intensity training. I’m at the hospital by about 7 or 7:15 am or at the office by 8 am. The evenings are catching up on paperwork and trying not to fall asleep!
What do you like to read?
William Shakespeare. I love his plays. I love his pros. I love the way he writes. The English language, as he writes it, is beautiful and alluring. When I was in college at the University of Utah, I took a Shakespeare class which is where I fell in love with it.
I also read a lot of spiritual and self-help books—“The Untethered Soul”, “The Road Less Traveled”, things like that. For fun, I don’t do a ton of reading. Usually it’s to research something.
Do you listen to podcasts?
Occasionally. My wife has me interested in some True-Crime podcasts. There’s one called “True Crime Stories” that has been very interesting. They did an analysis of the OJ Simpson trial, which was very interesting. There’s another one called “Lore” which talks about mythological stories from the past and tries to break them down which is also very interesting.
Is there something that people don’t know about you?
I think the way I look is probably a little shocking to most women when they come in for the first time to meet me. The long hair and the long beard is truly me. I had my picture taken initially with the short hair and the short beard. That was me playing the part I thought a doctor should look like. This is really more like me.
I also played football and baseball at Dixie College on a scholarship. And then decided if I really wanted to go to medical school I should probably not play football anymore.
What’s your favorite food or favorite treat?
Dark chocolate is my favorite. The darker the better.
If you were a superhero, what superpower would you choose?
I would love to be able to fly. I think that would be one of the most freeing sensations you could have. There’s a song that says “Sometimes falling feels like flyin for a little while”.