Yvonne Butler is an obstetrician and gynecologist (native to Liberia). She recently began to fulfill her life long dream to take her medical practice overseas and make a difference on her native continent, Africa.
Butler received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Bio Psychology and Cognitive Sciences and her doctorate from the Michigan State College of Human Medicine. In 2011 Butler was presented with The Hippocrates Award by the Henry Ford Hospital's Department of Obstetrics and
Gynecology. The award recognizes the resident who "best practices the art of medicine". Butler has received other distinguished awards including the Chief Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident Award. She is currently participating in a two-year clinical research program in the Zambia. The program is an international women’s health fellowship operating through the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. After working in Zambia for about a year now, Butler says she enjoys learning about international medicine and making a difference in Africa.
According to Butler she has always wanted to be a doctor. She recalls watching a television program about “Operation Smile” as a child growing up in Liberia. Operation Smile is a charity that mobilizes medical volunteers to operate on children (around the world) with facial deformities. After seeing the program, Butler says that her interest in medicine was sparked (specifically in surgery). She enjoyed the human interaction involved in caring for patients. Because of her love of children, she was initially interested in pediatrics. However her mind was shifted after an eight-week obstetrics course, where she realized Obstetrics and Gynecology combined all three of her interests: surgery, human interaction, and work with children.
Butler hopes to take her practice back to her native Liberia one day soon. This has always been her goal in becoming a doctor. She believes that there is a significant need for her field in the country. During a recent trip to Liberia, Butler visited a local hospital where she noted that there appeared to be “too many cooks in the kitchen”. Though people had good intentions, she noticed that not much was being achieved. She hopes to take a team of mentors and educators to Liberia in order to train (Liberian) medical staff and professionals
who work with women and children. Butler wants to eventually open a women and children’s hospital in the country.
Though faced with obstacles and naysayers along the way, Butler says she kept her faith in God and listened to the encouraging words of her grandmother and father. This helped push her through all the hard times and has made her the woman she is today. She encourages others to follow their dreams and do what they want to do in life, not for money but for love. “That’s what drives you.”
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