“I have wanted to be a doctor as long as I can remember,” says Dr. Annelise Swigert. Although she originally wanted to be an orthopedist, Dr. Swigert developed a passion for obstetrics after her first year in medical school. It was then that she worked closely with a maternal fetal medicine specialist, researching HIV transmission in pregnancy and spending hours with pregnant women and new mothers. Pregnancy’s combination of simplicity and complexity, along with the continuity of care for women through all stages of life, are what she loves about the specialty of ob/gyn.
Swigert’s interest in academic medicine continues today. She serves as a liaison to ACOG (the American College of Obstetrician Gynecologists) and to the Minnesota State Medical Board. She’s also a member of the Medical Executive Committee at Fairview Southdale Hospital, where she helps to promote the interests of maternity patients and facilitate gynecological procedures in the outpatient setting.
At Southdale Ob/Gyn, Dr. Swigert’s special interests are medically complicated pregnancies and specialized prenatal care. “I’m humbled every day by how amazing the human body is, and by how amazing pregnancy is,” she says. “Obstetrics is about making pregnancy a safe and healthy time of your life.”
Dr. Swigert laughs, admitting she’s often in constant motion, even walking fast around the office. While talking to patients, though, she always slows down and listens carefully. “You need to really hear what women are saying,” she says.
She says she began to develop her communication skills in high school, when she lived in Luxembourg for a year as an AFS student. Dr. Swigert then majored in French language and literature at Wellesley College and spent the year before medical school working abroad as a translator.
Still a Francophile, Dr. Swigert enjoys traveling and volunteering at her children’s school, where they are learning French. At home, she keeps busy with her husband and two children and loves to relax with yoga.
Even at work Dr. Swigert says she feels at home. “It’s like a family here,” she says. “Many of us had our partners deliver our babies ... and I think that speaks volumes about our group.”