Robin Perry, MD, FACOG, Chair and Chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cooper University Health Care, was the first female president of the medical staff at Cooper. In this short Q & A, Dr. Perry talks about her determination to become a doctor, balancing career and family, and why you should support the Ripa Center for Women’s Health and Wellness at Cooper.
Q. Why did you decide to become a doctor?
A. I wanted to be a doctor since I was a little girl. When I was in fifth grade I told my classmates that my dream was to become a doctor, deliver babies and have three children. My mom had gone to nursing school in the early 50s, but was forced to quit because she wanted to get married. She talked all the time about how wonderful it was to watch a baby being born, and that stuck with me.
My mom eventually went back to school and became a nurse. We were actually in school at the same time.
Q. You did realize your dream and are the mother of three grown sons. How did you manage having a family and a career in medicine?
A. A lot of teachers told me that if I wanted to have a family, I should find another profession. They encouraged me to go into research, but I refused to believe that medicine was completely closed to me. I had my first child when I was doing my fellowship in maternal fetal medicine. I’m fortunate to have a really great husband and family that supports me.
Q. What do you like most about being a doctor?
A. I am one of those very lucky people who found a career that matches my identity as a human being. The need to nurture is inherent in me. It is not what I do. It is who I am.
Q. Why should people support Women’s Health programs and the Ripa Center for Women’s Health and Wellness at Cooper?
A. Everybody has a woman in their life. A mom. A sister. A wife. Support for the Ripa Center helps keep these women healthy. If we don’t take care of them, they can’t take care of us. It’s as clear as that.
Q. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
A. I really enjoy photography and like to photograph birds. Any time I travel somewhere, I like to check out the birding areas.
Q. Do you have a favorite female author, artist or performer?
A. I grew up watching Katherine Hepburn movies. I liked the idea that a woman could be so feisty.
Click here to show your support for Women’s Health at Cooper by purchasing a ticket, sponsorship or ad for this year’s Cooper Red Hot Gala.