Medical Trailblazer Began Her Journey at CCM
When Betsy Greenleaf, D.O., ’92, was studying biology at County College of Morris (CCM), she had no idea where her love of science would lead her. Twenty years later, she is the first board-certified female urogynecologist in the nation. “Medicine, in general, has traditionally been underrepresented by women,” Greenleaf reflects. “But it’s changing. We’re seeing more and more women going to medical school.” Urogynecology is a relatively new subspecialty that focuses on disorders of the female pelvic floor. “There wasn’t a board-certification process until recently,” Greenleaf says. “I was on the American Osteopathic Board that helped create that exam.”
Building Long-Lasting Relationships
Greenleaf did not enter medicine thinking she would become a gynecologist – never mind the nation’s first female certified urogynecologist. Her initial interest was in surgery. “I had an interest in surgery but also had a strong interest in working with and having an ongoing relationship with my patients,” she says. “Surgery alone doesn’t allow long-lasting relationships. However, gynecology does. It offers the best of both – a little bit of surgery and the opportunity to develop a relationship with patients over time. I’m amazed every day at how many people I’ve had the opportunity to help and how appreciative they are of what I do.” After graduating from CCM, she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), now Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. After an internship, general surgery residency and obstetrics and gynecology residence at UMDNJ, she completed fellowship training in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. Greenleaf is the first doctor in her family. Her father taught math and her mother, also a CCM graduate, worked in exercise physiology and cardiac rehabilitation.
The Value of a CCM Education
“I always say, ‘If you have the choice, go to CCM first, get your degree here and move on.’ I still wish it were a four-year school because I believe the education here was better than the education I received anywhere else,” she says. “The professors were really good at teaching and because it was a smaller community setting, they seemed to care more and were willing to spend the time you needed. I really had a great time here.”