UAMS Has State’s Only Pediatric OB-GYN

By Spencer Watson

Laura Hollenbach, M.D.

Laura Hollenbach, M.D.

“It’s a relatively new specialty,” said Hollenbach, also the division director for pediatric and adolescent gynecology at Arkansas Children’s. “The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which certifies OB-GYNs in all subspecialties, has never had a separate examination for pediatric gynecology. But now it’s gotten large enough nationally that this is the first year they’ve offered it.”

Pediatric gynecologists treat patients from birth to age 22. While there is some overlap with general gynecology, certain issues arise specific to children, from structural issues at birth to early or late onset of puberty, that require specialized care, Hollenbach said.

“Kids aren’t just small adults, so we can’t extrapolate the way we treat adult women, with regard to gynecologic care, in the way we treat children. Specialty training in pediatric gynecology allows physicians to learn more about the special reproductive needs of children and adolescents,” she said.

Candidates for the exam were required to meet a certain volume of cases in which they specifically treated children in both operative procedures and clinical care in order to sit for the exam. About 100 candidates were selected nationwide.

“Since this is the first exam ever of its kind, even the people who were writing and contributing to the test had to take it,” Hollenbach said. “That’s kind of a weird phenomenon, but that’s because it was the first one.”

Hollenbach, who was heavily influenced and mentored by Little Rock physician Karen Kozlowski in this area of practice, said it’s rewarding to be among such a small group in a field that has existed as a specific area of research and interest for some time, but is expanding the formalization to a recognized field of specialty care.

“It’s a really tight knit group of people who are focused on this aspect of health care. If my colleagues had a question about a complicated delivery, for example, they could ask each other. Whereas, with this kind of specialty, if I email people, it’s specialists and experts from all across the nation. The people who trained me are the people who wrote the textbook.”

Hollenbach said that she was drawn to and has grown to love her field for its interactions with people, both in teaching residents and students at UAMS and treating younger patients at Arkansas Children’s and statewide through telemedicine.

“Working with children is rewarding in that you have a lot of opportunity to do preventive care and a lot of opportunity to do education,” she said. “While you can still do that in adult medicine, too, I feel you can have a bigger impact as they are still developing their habits and values and learning about themselves.”

Hollenbach, a graduate of Hendrix College in Conway, received her medical degree from UAMS in 2008 and joined the faculty in 2012. In 2014 she began a two-year fellowship in pediatric gynecology at Cincinnati Children Hospital Medical Center and afterward returned to UAMS in her current position.

ABOUT ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S

Arkansas Children’s, Inc. is the only health care system in the state solely dedicated to caring for children, which allows the organization to uniquely shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas. The system includes a 336-bed hospital in Little Rock with the state’s only pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center, burn center, Level 4 neonatal intensive care and pediatric intensive care, and research institute as well as a nationally-recognized transport service. It is one the 25 largest children’s hospitals in the United States and is nationally ranked by U.S. News World & Report in cardiology/heart surgery, neurology/neurosurgery, nephrology and pulmonology. Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale includes 233,613 square feet of inpatient beds, emergency care, clinic rooms and diagnostic services. Arkansas Children’s also blankets the state with outreach programs that include telemedicine, mobile health and school-based health solutions. A private nonprofit, Arkansas Children’s boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking research and is committed to providing every child with access to the best care available, regardless of location or resources. Founded as an orphanage, Arkansas Children’s has championed children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow for more than 100 years. For more info, visit www.archildrens.org.


UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Childrens Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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