Dan I. Lebovic, MD, MA, specializes in fertility and reproductive medicine.
Dr. Lebovic sees patients at:
Fertility and Reproductive Medicine Center
4444 Forest Park Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110
Missouri Baptist Medical Center – Building D
3023 N. Ballas Road
St. Louis, MO 63131
Please call 314-286-2400 for an appointment.
What during your training led you to choose your specialty?
To me, reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) is the best field in medicine. There has been amazing progress to benefit patients and allow for more successful treatment options. I was drawn toward the combination of office visits (remote or in-person), technology (ultrasound and surgical devices) and procedural visits, while allowing me to establish relationships with patients during their treatment journey. From a human perspective, fertility treatment is an intense period in their lives, and I have the honor to assist them. I take that seriously and with great humility.
What brought you to Washington University?
I spent 16 years in academia at the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin before working in private practice for a few years. Dr. Kenan Omurtag contacted me about a position here at Washington University with the REI Division. I had been wanting to return to academia, so this was a perfect opportunity. I had given a talk for the Washington University Obstetrics and Gynecology Department years earlier and knew of the reputation of both REI and the university. What appealed to me most were the kindness of my colleagues and the institution’s innovation. I was also a fan of Dr. Omurtag’s forward-thinking and passion for patients and providers within REI. I have not been let down in my enthusiasm for this program. It is a privilege to be able to do what most interests me: clinical care, literature research, teaching and service to a great university.
What do you want people to know about the field of fertility and reproductive medicine?
Even after 25 years, I believe every positive pregnancy test is a huge victory and a miracle. The ups and downs a patient goes through in their fertility journey can be overwhelming. My heart goes out to those few who ultimately have no success; however, I am encouraged by those who do come away with a child. Success rates have greatly improved over my career, and I am grateful to the science that led the way. I am certain advances in REI will continue in the years to come.
Dave Matthews: “To change the world, start with one step. However small, the first step is hardest of all.” This is a great philosophy for our patients as well. Taking that first step to schedule an evaluation can often be the hardest of all.
Are there any other new developments in your field that you are excited about?
There has been a lot of buzz about utilizing artificial intelligence to assist with fertility treatment. I predict some wonderful advances within the next decade that could really make a meaningful difference in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) laboratory. Stay tuned.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Los Angeles, California. I did not know how good I had it until years later, but I am definitely grateful for those early years in Tinseltown with wonderful friends and family. My parents immigrated to the United States. My father is a Holocaust survivor from Hungary who met my mom while visiting Bogota, Colombia. They both helped instill the rewards of a strong work ethic and solid moral character. My brother did his best to corrupt me with tackle football and introduce me to motor scooters. He accomplished his mission!
I attended college at University of California, Berkeley and medical school at George Washington in D.C. After residency at University of Virginia, I returned to Northern California for my fellowship at University of California, San Francisco. I then ended up as a junior faculty member at the University of Michigan, where I met my better half. My wife currently has put her Juilliard training (violin) on pause as she has transitioned to being a realtor on top of corralling our teenagers through the Clayton schools.
Which award or achievement is most gratifying?
Nothing is as rewarding as raising kids, hands down. Parenting is rewarding despite being quite tiring. This is why I understand the desire of our patients to have a child or enlarge their family tree.
Professionally, my most gratifying achievements are the book I wrote to assist clinicians, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Handbook for Clinicians, and receiving the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) teaching award twice while I was on staff in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
What is the best advice you’ve received?
I was fortunate to stumble upon this poem during my time at UC Berkeley that best answers this question:
Life’s Prize by Carl A. Dragstedt
Life’s prize is not a big trophy
That you can win in a game;
It’s something entirely different
From wealth or power or fame.
It’s the look of respect and affection,
That one can see in the eyes
Of the folks who know all about you,
That really is Life’s great prize.
If you weren’t a doctor, what would you like to be doing?
I would have loved to play shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers, or I would be touring Europe on a Vespa. I have had a Vespa since 2001 and got to visit Paris and Budapest with a Vespa years ago. It’s a great way to cover lots of territory in a short amount of time while pausing to get a sense of the local culture.