Michael Nageotte, MD, corporate medical director for Obstetrix Medical Group of Southern California, received a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas.
“I was absolutely shocked when I got the award. I was not expecting it, especially considering the lineage of past recipients,” he said. “I am extremely thankful to be recognized, and I think it is reflective of our overall system of excellence. This award is the greatest honor I have ever received.”
The SMFM established the award to recognize physicians who have made a significant and lasting impact in the field of maternal-fetal medicine (MFM). Dr. Nageotte is best known for his research expertise in fetal monitoring and assessment, during the spectrum of the birthing process (antepartum to intrapartum).
Legacy of MFM Care
“I’ve always found obstetrics to be an interesting specialty,” said Dr. Nageotte, who began his obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) residency in the late 1970s, around the birth of the MFM specialty. While he described his own residency as a “typical” one, it was during this early training that he was exposed to fellows focused on a budding field of medicine, which we now call MFM.
“This new field fascinated me,” he said. “The fellows had some particularly challenging cases. At the same time, there were incredible technological breakthroughs occurring for monitoring and delivery,” which further advanced the specialty. It was a “lucky break with respect to history,” said Dr. Nageotte, who completed his own MFM fellowship in 1982.
Dr. Nageotte, who served as SMFM president in 2005, has been the OB/GYN Careline Executive Director at Long Beach Memorial Hospital since 1995. He also served on the Perinatal Quality Foundation Board, where he was essential in the development of fetal monitoring credentialing.
He continues to share his expertise as a journal reviewer and author/co-author of more than 100 articles to date, on topics spanning antepartum testing, amnioinfusion, and regional anesthesia and delivery — in publications that include the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Nageotte has also presented more than 80 abstracts at the SMFM Annual Meeting during the past 35 years.
A Lifelong Educator
Perhaps most significant is his influence on the next generation of MFM specialists, and the supervisory role he plays in fellowship training at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. The 101st fellow under his tutelage will graduate from the program this year.
“There is a real need in health care to share experiences and support training,” said Dr. Nageotte. “Medicine attracts those who want to give back, which creates a higher sense of purpose. We don’t hide our discoveries or our expertise. We share them publicly for the betterment of our patients.” He feels that dedication is a critical part of his profession. “I think COVID-19 helped the world gain an even greater appreciation for medical professionals and the way we learn from each other to advance our field as a whole.”
Dr. Nageotte received his medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He completed his OB/GYN residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and his MFM fellowship at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center. He is board certified in both OB/GYN and MFM.