Memorial Hospital welcomes local physician to its primary care team

September 1, 2020

A native of Cooperstown, N.Y., Dr. Jenny LaBudde is familiar with living in smaller towns. As the daughter of a physician, she knows the benefits and challenges of practicing in an area where your name will become familiar to residents.

An obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. LaBudde joins Memorial’s growing Women’s Health and Family Birthing Center practices in September. Having just completed a four-year residency at Maine Medical Center, Dr. LaBudde is excited to be joining a seasoned team of providers, including Dr. Marni Madnick and Dr. Lauren Frye, noting that her new colleagues have “a range of experience and will be supportive partners.”

Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Matt Dunn says they are fortunate to have someone with Dr. LaBudde’s background joining the medical staff. “We were impressed with her education background but also with how she works in partnership with patients.”

LaBudde was drawn to women’s health and gender issues as a career path. With a degree in feminism and gender studies from Colorado College, she says teaching and the medical field were her career choices. Working at Outward Bound Maine following graduation allowed her to be outdoors and also teach teens and young adults, leading them on two and three-week backcountry trips, developing their skills to survive in the outdoors while helping them identify their own talent and aptitude for leadership. “Encouraging and role modeling physical strength and leadership were always important to me.”

Later, at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, she considered a specialty in family practice before deciding on obstetrics and gynecology with an emphasis on rural medicine.
Following medical school graduation, Dr. LaBudde joined the OBGYN residency program at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, which is affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine. Her residency included work with Portland’s refugee community, an experience that helped broaden her practice skills and especially how to relate to patients. She recalls learning patients’ beliefs and cultural expectations about birth. “There’s a lot to learn about being a doctor and you’ve got to learn and respect where people are coming from.”

Helping her through her residency was listening to the perspective of her father, an orthopedic surgeon for the past 30 years in Cooperstown, population 1,792. “What has really helped me is hearing about when he has a complication as a surgeon, has a tough case, or has a case he worries about afterwards.” As a beginning surgeon, Dr. LaBudde found this perspective helpful, especially knowing that even he “still has cases that are challenging.”

She adds, “Having that humility and ability for self-doubt is really important for someone who is an expert. That’s part of being a surgeon, and part of being a good surgeon.”

Through medical school and residency, Dr. LaBudde says she learned listening to patients is key to patient care. “You become more effective when you learn what’s motivating your patents, where their perspective may be different than yours, and how to understand that and make a decision together on how to move forward. If you’re very rigid on the rules of medicine you miss out on a lot of what motivations patients have.”

Dr. LaBudde is scheduling appointments beginning September 1 at Memorial Hospital’s Women’s Health Clinic. The clinic serves patients in the Mt. Washington Valley with gynecological services, maternity care, well woman care, and other health services with a focus on women.