ABOUT DR. RODRIGUEZ
- DIPLOMAT OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY
- AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY
- AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF GYNECOLOGIC LAPAROSCOPY
- AMERICAN ACADEMY OF COSMETIC GYNECOLOGISTS
- NEW MEXICO MEDICAL SOCIETY
- CHRISTUS ST VINCENT HOSPITAL ACTIVE STAFF
- PHYSICIAN’S PLAZA MEDICAL CENTER ACTIVE STAFF
- PHYSICIAN’S MEDICAL CENTER ACTIVE STAFF
MARIA RODRIGUEZ, M.D.
Dr. Maria L. Rodriguez is originally from southern Colorado. She attended Lake Forest College which is 30 miles north of Chicago, Il. Her desire to return to her home state brought her back to Colorado in 1975 for medical school at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado. She chose the University of New Mexico Hospital for her internship and residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology as this program had a stong surgical training program compared to many other training programs.
At UNM she was able to start doing surgery in her second year of training which was not the usual norm for residents. However due to her determination and interest in gynecologic surgery, she was able to convice her attending physicians that she was ready. One of her residents gave her a compliment she will never forget. They said, “When Dr. Rodriguez does surgery, it looks like her fingers are dancing”. She completed her residency in OB/GYN in 1983.
She had already chosen Santa Fe as the place she wanted to practice. The Santa Fe Indian Hospital had an opening and had an incredible backlog of surgery that needed to be performed. In her 2 year stint there, she did as much surgery as it would have taken her 6 years to do in private practice. It was also a great experience for someone coming out from a residency program. She cared for many wonderful Native American women and delivered many Native American babies. She was driven, however to have her own practice and felt limited and hindered by what she could do at the Indian Hospital, therefore, she set up a private practice in 1985.
She also became BOARD CERTIFIED in 1985. By this time, she had an interest in advanced laparoscopic surgery which was somewhat new at that time. She took many courses over the course of the next 2 years with leading physicians who were the first to do these procedures in this country. She spent thousands of dollars to learn all the techniques to perform advanced laparoscopic procedures as these were never taught in her residency program.
Dr. Rodriguez’s practice and her other partners at that time were the first in the state to begin advanced laparoscopic surgery by purchasing the equipment necessary to perform advanced laparoscopic surgery at St. Vincent Hospital in Sants Fe. Today, most of her surgeries are performed through the laparoscope including hysterectomy, removing ovaries, treating endometriosis and many other procedures. She is dedicated to this type of surgery as it is less painful; there is less down time for the patients and they return to work and their normal activities much quicker than with traditional surgeries.
Another area Dr. Rodriguez took an interest in was women’s problems with urinary incontinence, urinary frequency and overall bladder problems related to aging. She has been performing Urodynamic bladder studies in her office which are sometimes necessary to more fully evaluate urinary problems.
At about this same time in 2000, she made the decision to stop delivering babies. It was a difficult choice, however she had been delivering babies for 20 years and felt that concentrating on gynecology alone would allow her to expand her services to the women of Santa Fe and northern New Mexico. She also had a young son to raise and felt she was not able to give him as much attention as she desired. She took motherhood very seriously and enjoyed it tremendously.
Today, due to Dr. Rodriguez’s unrelenting desire to treat women with less invasive procedures, she has brought in many procedures that she used to do in the operating room with general anesthesia into her office, Her patients appreciate the office procedures as they can return to normal activities the same day or the next day. These procedures include Hysteroscopy, Novasure and Thermachoice endometrial ablation and the Essure sterilization procedure. Information on these procedures are described in this website under Procedures performed in the office.
She is now also offering aesthetic vaginal surgery as an in office procedure or to be added to other gynecologic procedures being done as an outpatient or in the hospital. Since she has had over 25 years of experience in vaginal surgery, it seemed very natural to her to add this new field of cosmetic vaginal and labia surgery to her practice. She trained with Dr. Red Alinsod in Laguna Beach who is a urogynecologic surgeon and world renowned for these procedures. Dr. Rodriguez is known in the operating room as creating “beautiful vaginas” by the operating room nursing staff when she does regular vaginal surgery.