Former USF COPH student—now an MD—advocates for women’s health

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Dr. Elise Diamond, who earned her MPH in biostatistics and epidemiology from the USF College of Public Health (COPH) in 2012, has taken her passion for women’s health and transformed it into a successful career as an obstetrician-gynecologist medical resident and women’s health advocate.

Diamond spent the majority of her childhood growing up in Maryland, right outside of Washington, D.C., before moving to Tampa for high school.

Although the stop in Tampa was short-lived (she decided to attend college in Boston), she eventually returned home to pursue her MPH at the USF COPH. “The USF COPH has a very well-respected program for public health, and that prompted me to apply,” said Diamond. “And they were also flexible enough to allow me to pursue my passions while working full time.”

Elise Diamond, MD, MPH, a graduate of the USF COPH, currently works as an OBGYN resident at MedStar Washington Hospital in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of Elise Diamond)

Those passions are health care advocacy and women’s health, which the COPH not only allowed her to pursue, but truly encouraged and cultivated as well.

“Women’s health has always been an intriguing topic to me,” said Diamond. “I was able to pursue a capstone project with Dr. Hamisu Salihu [then at the COPH], and we published a paper titled ‘Maternal pregnancy weight gain and the risk of placental abruption.’ ”

She continued to develop her passion for advocacy by ultimately getting involved in multiple programs that she still participates in.

“I’ve been involved with both the American Medical Association as well as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in promoting health care priorities to legislators,” said Diamond. “I also have attended the ACOG Congressional Leadership Conference where we have advocated for expanding health care access for women’s health, including comprehensive maternity care, and have taken steps to curb the alarming and growing maternal mortality rate in the United States,” she said.

Dr. Diamond with one of her mentors, Dr. Michael Moxley, on Capitol Hill advocating for health care and women’s health issues through her involvement with ACOG. (Photo courtesy of Elise Diamond)

This specific interest in maternal health issues led Diamond to medical school at the USF Morsani College of Medicine and, now, to her current position as an OBGYN resident at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University.

Her time there is mostly spent performing deliveries, providing gynecologic care and doing surgeries. Diamond believes this puts her in the best position to follow her passion and continue to contribute to the field of women’s health.

“I really fell in love with women’s health during my rotations in Labor and Delivery at Tampa General Hospital,” she said. “Being a part of the birth of a child is inspiring.” Diamond plans to remain in the Washington, D.C., area after completing her residency and will work as an OBGYN generalist. She’ll also continue her work with ACOG to create further awareness of women’s health issues.

 As she excels in her career, Diamond looks back and sees the vital role that her time at the USF COPH played in making her such a success.

“Seeing women’s health through a public health lens emphasizes areas of improvement I might have otherwise missed,” said Diamond. “We live and work in a flawed system, but it is up to us to make the system better from the inside.”

Fast Five:

What did you dream of becoming when you were young?

A dolphin trainer or a doctor

Where might we find you on the weekends?

Relaxing with family 

What was the last book you read?

“Leadership and Self-Deception,” by the Arbinger Institute (truly life changing!)

What superpower would you like to have?


What is your all-time favorite movie?

Miss Congeniality”

Story by Cody Brown, USF College of Public Health