A Response to ‘Unicorn’ OB Quits Story

To the editors of Santa Barbara Independent and Edhat.com,

The OB/GYN community feels compelled to respond to the June 16 article, “Unicorn OB Calls It Quits.” We would like the opportunity to correct some of the misinformation, and address what we believe is a mischaracterization of our community’s experienced and compassionate OB/GYN physicians and staff members.

The entire obstetric community has been working diligently and tirelessly to care for our existing patients and as your article explains, we have had to accommodate the many new patients who were recently and precipitously left without care, some of whom are due to deliver within a matter of weeks. This unanticipated influx of patients has resulted in more than 500 new prenatal appointments over the next three to six months and has added considerable strain to all the OB/GYN practices in our community. However, we remain committed to caring for the women in our community, as we have done responsibly and professionally for decades.

As a board-certified group of obstetricians and gynecologists, we closely adhere to the high standards of evidence-based care set forth by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). As we explore our patients’ personal preferences, we create birth plans for each mother and make sure that they are informed about the latest research in order to most effectively navigate their health and safety, which is of paramount importance. Collectively, we have performed many thousands of deliveries, and again, as board-certified members of ACOG, we take pride in the care and management of our pregnant patients by frequently communicating with them about treatment, and consent for that treatment. 

We believe that the characterization that maternal health care is lacking in our Santa Barbara community is an uninformed mischaracterization, and one that is not supported by the thousands of women we have taken care of over many decades. We are proud to have had the honor of delivering generations of babies here in our community, and we consider it a privilege to be part of what is often considered the most precious experience for countless families.

While continually striving to enhance and advance the care we provide, our local group of Santa Barbara obstetricians and gynecologists, along with our staff, operate with the highest level of professionalism and collegiality and are dedicated to putting our patients first. While we always want to listen closely to our community members about their experience with us, we believe the quality of maternal health care that we are so proud to provide is much different than what has been presented in this article and as a result, we felt compelled to respond.


Sansum Clinic Obstetrics & Gynecology: Carin Craig, MD, FACOG; David Raphael, MD, FACOG; Charmian Dresel-Velasquez, MD, FACOG; Navi Reiners, MD, FACOG; Joanna Gibbs, PA; Heather Terbell, MD, FACOG; Ashley McGrogan, PA-C; Meghan Wallman, MD, FACOG; Heather Merrick, MPAS, PA-C; Wanda Westerman NP, CNM — and sole practitioners Susanne Ramos, MD, FACOG; Pedram Rashti, MD, FACOG


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