Paging Dr Tiffany Hunter
Dr Tiffany Hunter (Photo: Karl McLarty)

IT was as if Dr Tiffany Hunter had her profession written in stone at a tender age.

When gifted a Tell Me Why book packed with answers to questions from curious children about history, nature, the human body, animals and plants as a youngster, Hunter was already making jottings to assist in her future medical career.

The now established consultant obstetrician-gynaecologist and maternal foetal medicine specialist spends her days consulting with pregnant women, doing clinical work, research and teaching, which she says are roles that never get boring.

“I was always a go-getter and hard-working girl, from prep school I knew I always wanted to be a doctor. I remember somebody giving me the book, where you learn about science and the environment and the human body. I remember reading it from that time and looking in my book and making notes and I said, ‘Mommy, I am going to need these notes for when I am a doctor’,” she told All Woman.

Growing up in Kingston, young Hunter’s parents would always encourage her to pursue whatever aligned with her goals.

“I have very hard-working parents. My mom worked in a financial institution for over 30 years and my father was a businessman who worked very hard to provide for the family,” she said.”my parents always encouraged me to do my best, follow my dreams and my passion.”

To kick-start her career, Dr Hunter completed her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona in 2004, then did her Doctor of Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2011.

Throughout her career, she has had the experience and pleasure of working in various hospitals in Jamaica such as St Ann’s Bay Hospital, Victoria Jubilee Hospital and Spanish Town Hospital.

Further, in 2012 she pursued her passion for high-risk pregnancy care by embarking on a fellowship in maternal foetal medicine (MFM) at the University of Toronto, Canada, Mount Sinai Hospital, before returning to Jamaica as the third MFM specialist.

During that year, she assisted her mentor, the first MFM in Jamaica Dr Nadine Johnson, along with the assistance of colleagues in Canada via Skype, to carry out the first intra-vascular transfusion — blood transfusion of an unborn baby — at UWI.

Dr Hunter said getting good outcomes and seeing the smiles on her patients’ faces are the things she loves most about her job.

“It can be very rewarding, especially when you have cases of mothers who have lost pregnancies, and have had very bad outcomes before, and then you manage them and see them through to the end and things go well and mom and family are happy,” she said.

One of her most memorable moments was helping an at-risk mom to carry her baby full term.

“I remember seeing a lady who had lost seven pregnancies, and she kept having pre-term births. Every baby was born at about 20 weeks and I remember collaborating on that case with a very close colleague of mine and we tried different things and she went home with a healthy baby at term,” she said.

But at times, there are complex cases with not only medical issues but ethical ones too.

“Sometimes it can be challenging in some cases being able to predict what the outcome will be in a pregnancy. So you have a mother with a condition and you diagnose the condition of the mother or foetus and try to predict the likelihood of death for both. It can be very difficult as we don’t have a crystal ball to see what will happen,” she said.

Dr Hunter, who dubs herself as a ‘goal-setting super mom’, says although her job keeps her on her toes, she enjoys spending quality time with her daughter and loved ones.

“I love spending time with my daughter who is my world and listening to music, travelling, swimming, aerobics, socialising, spending time with people I love and learning new things,” she said.


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