Dr. Franklyn Geary
Providing a steadying presence for nearly 20 years
Ask most doctors what inspired them to pursue a career in medicine, and you often hear stories of witnessing the suffering of a loved one from a chronic condition or trauma. Ask Dr. Franklyn Geary, Program Director of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Morehouse School of Medicine, and you’ll get a surprising answer.
“One of the things that most influenced me was TV,” he said. “I was impressed with what I saw on TV medical shows. Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey were shows that I really enjoyed when I was growing up.” He also remembered a family medical guide from Better Homes & Gardens that his parents owned, which interested him and later inspired a project on pregnancy and childbirth for a science fair when he was 10 years old.
Arriving with a Purpose
Dr. Geary’s early fascination with childbirth was a harbinger of what his later years were to bring. After receiving his medical degree and completing his residency at Emory School of Medicine, he came to Morehouse in 1993. “When I got here,” he said, “there was no OB/GYN residency training program. I thought that there was a need for that, so I wanted to be part of an effort to establish this component at the School of Medicine.” Four years later, the training program was introduced—and Dr. Geary serves as program director to this day.
Growth at Morehouse Healthcare
Morehouse Healthcare (MHC) has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, and Dr. Geary has been witness to it all. He said, “MHC has grown immensely. When I first came to Morehouse, MHC was very small. It was first located in a suite of offices in a hotel downtown. At that time, we were offering services through two hospitals. Today, we’re in a much larger, well-established campus and our department operates out of four hospitals.” He adds, “The whole OB/GYN department has also expanded significantly. The School of Medicine has graduated 12 classes of residents and many of them have come through MHC.”
In addition to his lifelong passion for care during pregnancy and childbirth, Dr. Geary has specific interests in developing a deeper understanding of domestic violence, HIV, and preeclampsia. And while he finds patient care deeply fulfilling, he also enjoys teaching medical students and residents. “There’s just something about impacting the future of young physicians,” he said. “It’s satisfying for me to play a role in their development and help them become the kind of physician they want to be.” In addition, Dr. Geary volunteers his time at the Good Samaritan Clinic where he supervises medical students and residents who help treat patients for low or no cost.
Making a Difference
To Dr. Geary, being a mentor and guiding hand to future doctors is just one facet of the overall commitment to first-class care at Morehouse. When members of his family require medical attention, they don’t have to go far. “I bring everyone here,” he said. “The expert, sincere care provided by the doctors of MHC is second to none. We really take the time to listen to patients and thoroughly assess their situation in order to find a solution.”
He cites an example involving his father, who to see a doctor at MHC for a relatively minor condition. While it wasn’t a significant problem, doctors at other places were unable to help him with it, telling him that there was nothing that could be done and that he would just live with it. “When he was examined by a physician here,” said Dr Geary, “that physician was able to identify the problem and help my dad treat it successfully. I’m not saying that the other physicians my dad saw weren’t capable. But the physician here took the time and effort to correctly diagnose the condition and help my dad; he was empathetic and conscientious, and ultimately solved the problem.”
Doing Things the Right Way
Dr. Geary notes that this dedication to helping patients is really nothing extraordinary among MHC physicians. “I think just about every physician here is like that,” he said. “Perhaps the most important thing that is taught to our medical students and residents is to always be respectful of patients. And often this involves something that isn’t too popular nowadays, which is spending a lot of time with patients to really get a complete picture of their overall health. Other times it includes helping with the follow-up of patients who aren’t your primary patients, just to make sure that they are getting the attention they deserve. Whatever it takes, we do it.”
Beyond the Exam Room and Classroom
At the end of the day, after seeing patients and mentoring medical students, Dr. Geary relaxes with a wide variety of activities. “I play drums and bowl. I try to play tennis. I’m involved with my church, serving on a Birth Month ministry and on a scholarship committee.” And, naturally, he continues his role as a father figure as well. “I love spending time with my daughter; we especially enjoy going to amusement parks and movies.”