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I’m Dr. Charity Hill. I am a medical doctor. I trained at Temple University for medical school and did my residency at NYU. I got involved in Sports & Spine Medicine because I was a competitive athlete. When I decided to focus on pelvic pain, that became really helpful as a lot of the structures we treat are very deep and can only be properly imaged using a lot of the techniques that I developed in my orthopedic training.
I joined the International Pelvic Pain Society, and that’s a group of physicians in multiple specialties that all work together to try to tackle the complicated aspects of pelvic pain. So, when I first began having pelvic pain, I registered it as a sports injury just because I was playing sports around 30, 40 hours a week. Went to multiple orthopedic surgeons and our team doctor in college and they just weren’t able to really figure it out.
When I was on my OBGYN rotation in medical school, we had a pelvic pain patient coming into the clinic. My attending said, “Ah, it’s these pelvic pain patients, you know? It’s just all in their head, there’s nothing we can do for them.” I myself had pelvic pain, and I remember just thinking to myself, “Oh my gosh, am I just crazy?” For a couple years I just kept my mouth shut and actually didn’t seek any medical care, and I thought I could maybe make it go away if I just ignored it. At one point I knew I really needed help when my medical assistant came in to get me for a patient, and I was laying on the floor of my office and that was kind of my rock-bottom when I was like, “No, I really need to treat myself as well as treating other patients.”
Finally, gotten to a doctor who was able to figure it out that I had endometriosis, and I was really grateful I eventually found someone. Though I figured if I had that hard a time finding care, even though I was already in the medical field, I figured it must be so much more difficult from people who are coming from outside that field to get care. And I decided I wanted to focus my career on educating people on the realities of pelvic pain and giving treatment to those kind of patients. I’m very grateful that I am able to use all the information that I’ve gathered over the years in order to help treat these patients who are suffering so badly.
So, there was a quote I heard once, “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” For a while I didn’t have much hope that I was ever gonna get to a place where I was going to be able to function like a normal person, but it’s wonderful to have hope for the future and have hope that you’re able to be who you really are and not let the pain rule your life.