October 7, 2020
Editor’s Note: Since 2013, FACTS has been training speakers to provide the presentations we created to share the science of fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) with medical professionals, students, and the public. We have now equipped more than ninety speakers to share the FACTS in their universities, training programs, hospitals, clinics, and communities throughout the United States and internationally.
This year, we are featuring a FACTS-trained speaker every month to highlight the depth of knowledge and expertise of our talented pool of presenters. Through our Speaker Training Program, we equip them with accurate, up-to-date information so their patients benefit from a medical community that is well informed about the science behind FABMs.
Our series continues with Dr. Angela Kristan, a family physician in Rochester, NY with expertise and interest in women’s health as well as geriatrics. She is passionate about making evidence-based information available to medical professionals beginning in medical school. We are grateful for her support and contributions to the success of our educational and speaker programs.
Meet Angela Kristan, MD
Angela Kristan, MD completed residency in family medicine and a geriatric medicine fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center. In an effort to bridge women’s health gaps she identified in medical education, she designed her own fertility awareness elective during residency that included training in NaProTechnology at the St. Paul VI Institute in Omaha, NE. Her commitment to offering a broad range of options to her patients continues to bear fruit, and she recently opened Gianna of Syracuse Medical, a small practice specializing in women’s gynecologic health where she practices NaProTechnology and promotes fertility awareness.
While in medical school, Dr. Kristan could not find attending physicians or classmates interested in fertility awareness-based methods of family planning. She recalls a story from her obstetrics and gynecology clerkship that highlights the need for organizations like FACTS. “An attending asked the class what ‘natural family planning’ meant and a student shouted, ‘Parenthood!’ The class erupted in laughter and the attending moved on to the next topic. That was it. That was our exposure to fertility awareness.” Unfortunately, this story still resonates with many students in training.
Prior to being introduced to FACTS, Dr. Kristan struggled to find evidence-based resources about FABMs to share with her colleagues. She was thrilled to discover FACTS, and appreciates the many resources and the professional, thorough presentations FACTS makes available via webinars, conferences, enduring materials, blog, website, and more.
Dr. Kristan recognizes the value of an organization devoted to educating medical professionals about FABMs. “I am grateful to Dr. Duane and the developers of FACTS for providing an articulate, evidence-based resource to promote fertility awareness, something I have grown to appreciate as central to the delivery of authentic women’s healthcare.”
In Her Own Words
A memorable experience while on a medical mission during residency made her wish she’d known about FACTS sooner. She had the opportunity to work with other residents at a Global Health mission in rural Honduras. On their first day in the clinic, Dr. Kristan noticed a Cycle Beads poster hanging on the wall, advertising local Natural Family Planning (NFP) courses. She relates she “quietly listened and observed as the residents commented on the poster, and it became apparent there was both a knowledge deficit and clear cultural bias.”
When the residents were asked to select a topic to present to the medical team, she “mustered up the courage to teach about fertility awareness. If only I had pursued FACTS speaker training prior to residency!” Still, her presentation was very well received and evolved into a meaningful discussion. “Years later and thanks to my FACTS speaker training, I am able to facilitate a more comprehensive, evidence-based discussion.”
Expanding Options in Women’s Health
Dr. Marguerite Duane, executive director and cofounder of FACTS, values her contributions to the speaker program, FACTS, and the field of fertility awareness. “Words that come to mind when I think of her passion for fertility awareness education include thoughtful, factual, scientific. I appreciate her deliberate, measured approach to presenting the science of FABMs.”
She admires Dr. Kristan’s “commitment to students who may be interested in fertility awareness but may not have the courage to pursue this training on their own. It was a challenge for Dr. Kristan to learn about FABMs, but she persisted, and FACTS is working to build the infrastructure for students to access this information more freely.”
As a teenager, Dr. Kristan had an adverse response to hormonal contraception prescribed by a well-meaning physician. During medical training, she felt her peers often dismissed the very real possibility that some, and perhaps, many patients experience adverse effects and have legitimate reasons to seek alternatives. She values that “FACTS provides a platform to educate the medical community about the benefits of FABMs and sheds light on the many options available to patients.”
Dr. Kristan has experienced how “the benefits of fertility awareness extend to medical professionals as well as their patients. As clinicians, we have the opportunity to educate women about the gift of their fertility, helping them become in tune with the wisdom of their bodies. In doing so, we are promoting the intrinsic goodness of the woman’s body while also contributing to their health literacy and self-awareness.”
More About Dr. Kristan
Dr. Kristan obtained a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Oklahoma. She attended the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and earned a Masters in Theological Studies from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. She works part-time as a dementia specialist, and this vulnerable population has become a very important part of her life. The women she serves through Gianna of Syracuse are also a unique population with a similar vulnerability, and she feels honored to partner with them as their physician.
Dr. Kristan is pursuing certification with the American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals. Originally from Oklahoma, she now lives in Rochester, NY with her husband, Michael.
Editor’s Note: Follow this link to learn more about Cycle Beads and the Standard Days Method.
Learn more in our webinar series!
Expand your toolbox and strengthen your understanding of FABMs
Our webinars cover a wide range of timely topics in fertility awareness and are designed to educate physicians, health care professionals, and students. And, many are approved for CME Credit! If you are a FACTS member, you are granted attendance for one FREE webinar each year. Become a member today or email our webinar coordinator at speaker@FACTSaboutFertility.org for more information.
Join us – To LEARN MORE or REGISTER, click here!