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Lee Ann Richter, MD, is one of the few urologists in the country with obstetrics and gynecology-based training in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. That combination of specialized training, which she completed at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery, make Dr. Richter uniquely qualified to treat all female urology and urogynecologic issues, including pelvic organ prolapse, urinary and fecal incontinence, hematuria, kidney stones and other pelvic floor disorders.
“One of every three women will have pelvic floor disorder in their lifetime,” Dr. Richter says. “Fortunately, there are many treatment options to help them. As more women undergo these treatments to improve their quality of life, they’re sharing their experience with others, and encouraging them to get help too.”
Starting in Public Health
Dr. Richter has a longstanding interest in bringing quality medical care to those most in need. Before entering the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, she spent a year teaching public health and nutrition in a rural village in Ecuador.
“I originally thought I’d go into public health, either on a policy level, or working with individuals,” she explains. “The exposure to an entirely different culture and set of needs solidified my desire to become a physician.”
And it was through her husband, who works for the non-profit Save the Children, that Dr. Richter learned about the prevalence of urinary fistula in the developing world. “That was surgical expertise I wanted to have,” she says, “so I focused my fellowship in order to perform those procedures here and wherever else they were needed.”
Life Outside MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Now, along with her busy schedule at the Hospital Center and teaching at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. Richter travels to Rwanda each year to perform fistula surgeries through the International Organization for Women and Development.
“It’s exciting to be an advocate for women with urogynecological issues, regardless of who my patients are, or where they live,” she says.
Given her world view and hectic schedules, it’s hardly surprising that Dr. Richter is an avid runner, and has completed several marathons. She also loves spending time outdoors with her husband and two children, aged 6 and 3.