Bringing Babies into the World: Everyday Life-Changing Moments for Dr. Dina Fainmanby Leorah Gavidor January 2, 2019
At the age of four, local OB-GYN Dr. Dina Fainman told her parents she wanted to be a doctor.
“I was really into nature and biology—I would be outside, watching the ants do their thing.”
In high school, Dina and a small group of classmates participated in a program that took them to various health care settings. The students spent time observing, learning and working in medical offices, clinics, operating rooms, labs and delivery rooms. It was in the delivery room where Dina realized that’s she wanted to do for a living: bring babies into the world.
“I had a clear direction from a young age. Some of my classmates realized it wasn’t for them, but it had the opposite effect on me.”
Dina’s family wasn’t in medicine. Her mother, ninth generation of progenitors born in Israel, was in education. She taught Dina Hebrew as she grew up in Rockland County, outside of New York City. She completed medical school and her residency in New York, then moved to San Diego in 2011.
Dr. Fainman uses her Hebrew with her Israeli patients, who visit her private practice in Encinitas from all over the county. By coincidence, one of her partner doctors also speaks Hebrew. Dina said the fact that she is Jewish is important to some of her patients.
“It’s another level you can relate to with people—they feel that they don’t have to explain certain values, which can make it easier to talk about the sensitive subjects we deal with in our profession.”
Dr. Fainman sees patients from all backgrounds at her office in Encinitas and delivers babies at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla. Her patients range in age from adolescent to women in their nineties. She works with transgender patients, too.
“I get to meet and treat people at every biological transition—birth, adolescence, puberty, pregnancy, menopause—significant times in peoples’ lives. I’m in the room for life-changing moments every day.”
Dina said that, for her, every birth is “reinvigorating”—even when she’s delivering six or seven babies in a shift!
“Every day is meaningful,” Dina reflected.
Dr. Fainman emphasizes how important it is to begin a healthy relationship with a gynecologist early on. “It’s not taboo or scary to come see me!” She recommends talking with your teens about sex, STDs, birth control, body image and self-respect. She offers herself as a resource for teen girls to talk about these topics—with or without the parents present.
With two and a half years under her belt at Scripps Clinic, Dr. Fainman said she has had an opportunity to expand her network and gain access to all kinds of specialties in a larger healthcare setting.
She is excited about advances in individualized treatment that come with study of our genetic makeup, and the efforts of Scripps and other California hospitals to reduce maternal mortality and cesarean section rates.
But within the hospital, her practice maintains the small office feel.
“Even when I see 28-29 patients in a day, I take time to listen. Patients tell us it feels like we really care.”
Dina said she is fortunate to have a career she is passionate about. “Patients remember what you do for them.”