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Expecting Via Christi resident experiencing life as a patient

Dr. Amy Schantzen

Amy Schantzen, DO, is a resident with the Ascension Via Christi Family Medicine Residency Program, and she is expecting her first child in April. We will follow her through the process of pregnancy, delivery and raising a newborn.
Amy Schantzen’s fascination with the human body began when her mom was pregnant with her little sister.

She was 5.

“I don’t know whether it was the experiences I had going to the doctor’s office with my mom, or the fact that she was growing a baby, but it really made me interested in becoming a doctor and delivering babies,” she says.

Amy is now Amy Schantzen, DO, a second-year resident in the Ascension Via Christi Family Medicine Residency Program. She and her husband, John, also a second-year resident, are expecting their first child – a daughter – in early April.

“I remember my mom had the book ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ and also a pamphlet that showed the actual size of the baby growing inside her,” Amy says. “I would read both of them just to find out what was happening with my little sister and even got in trouble for talking about what I’d read with some of my elementary school classmates.”

When Amy began medical school, she chose family medicine as her specialty because it allowed her to work with pregnant women and deliver babies and then be able to watch the children grow through well-child visits. 

While residency can be a hectic time for most new doctors, she and her husband didn’t let it stop them from starting a family. 

“If you have the right support and put your mind to it, you can balance everything,” Amy says. 

When she found out she was pregnant, she knew it would be challenging to suddenly become the patient.  

“I wanted to experience my pregnancy as a patient, but it’s hard to separate my experiences as a physician who delivers babies,” she says. “It’s so fun to interact with my patients now that I’m experiencing the same things.”

Amy chose Ascension Medical Group physician Arthur Windholz, MD, to manage her pregnancy after working with him during her fourth year of medical school. 

“I remember being in a delivery room with Dr. Windholz and watching him deliver a baby,” Amy remembers. “After seeing how he interacted with the patient, I knew I wanted him to deliver my baby.”

Once Amy and John graduate from the residency program, they will move to a small town in Iowa to begin practicing medicine together.