Dr. Simotas has been blogging with Her Health, a section of the Houston Chronicle, since 2006. When Dr. Simotas isn’t mothering her daughter, delivering other babies or treating sexually transmitted diseases, you can also find her blogging or hosting her monthly women’s health call-in show on KPFT.
Where did your interest in women’s health begin?
I grew up in a family of four girls – no brothers. My father always taught us that women can do anything they want in this world. I wanted to empower women with that knowledge and as a Ob/Gyn I can be there for them from puberty to menopause. I wanted to make it comfortable for them to ask me questions that they would be too embarrassed to ask elsewhere.
What are some of your favorite topics to blog about?
I enjoy blogging about topics that are controversial or confusing to the average person. Topics that need someone with a medical background to clarify. I like to expose the ugly side of medicine, the use of bioidentical hormones that doctors are pushing, even though they don’t have any medical basis. They make a lot of money off of feeding patients’ fears.
Are these the same topics you discuss on your radio show?
I want to give people a look at medicine that they would never see. A look “behind closed doors”, if you will. I expose the things in medicine that the average patient would not know. For instance, many patients are pressured into banking cord blood, but what they don’t know is that doctors are being paid to push this service. I want to inform patients about conflicts of interests that exist out there and to educate and empower them with knowledge.
What’s the best feedback you’ve received on your work?
I was honored to receive positive feedback and encouragement from Stacey Foxwell of NPR. She encouraged me a year ago to keep working on getting a “buzz” going in Houston. Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle gave me the biggest compliment when he said that I “don’t talk like a doctor”. Silverman says that I have a good voice because I talk to my callers on their level, without being condescending. I also get great feedback from our program director Ernesto Aguilar of KPFT, who is always gracious enough to give our show air time.
What gives you hope about the future of women’s health? Are there facets that scare you?
Women are becoming more and more knowledgeable and taking control of their own bodies. I love it when I have a patient that wants a second or third opinion. I also love it when they come to me with articles and information that they read about and want clarification.
The only piece of medicine that scares me is that as reimbursement becomes less and less, doctors are turning away from the fields that they loved so much and are getting mixed up with selling products that they don’t believe in (many doctors now sell diet pills, bioidentical hormones and vitamins in their office).
Why should people read your writing at Her Health or call into your show?
My medical call-in show is honest and informative. I never tell patients to call my office for an opinion. I tell it is like it is. My mission is to educate and empower, never to promote myself or manipulate the truth.