All-woman medical milestone at Melfort Hospital
SASKATOON -- Dr. Erin Beresh led the first all-woman team through a procedure in the Melfort Hospital operating room last month.
The procedure happened Nov. 10. Dr. Chelsea Wilgenbusch (anesthetist on-call), Dr. Stephanie Nyberg (physician on-call), and an all-woman nursing staff were part of the operation.
Beresh, Wilgenbusch, and Nyberg went to medical school together.
“For a small place, it’s the first time we’ve had a team like this,” Beresh said. “We didn’t really realize it would be all women the day of the operation but we were all pretty surprised and thought we should take a photo just to mark the occasion. It’s pretty humbling all the feedback we got though. We feel very lucky to be here.”
The procedure marked a personal accomplishment for Beresh, as it was her first solo caesarean section, resulting in the birth of a healthy baby girl.
Beresh is the hospital’s first female surgeon. She worked as a resident in Melfort and received a medical degree at the University of Saskatchewan. She was hired to work in the community in October and specializes in birth deliveries and caesarean section procedures.
“I don’t do everything, I’m not an obstetrician but I can help people have babies here which is really my goal. I think it helps keep your hospital open in small town Saskatchewan if you deliver babies here as well.”
Registered Nurse Marilyn Keifer has worked in Melfort for 33 years and helped on the surgery.
“We didn’t actually put that all together until we all looked around the room and said, we are all female.”
Keifer said the small team has built a good rapport.
"In the high stress situation you kind of know what the other one is going to do and sometimes that’s very beneficial because you can anticipate what their next action is going to be.”
Beresh was raised in Clavet and said she plans to stay in the community and is building her patient list as a family physician. Melfort has five female physicians.