For Providers
Proud. Passionate. Grateful. Kind.

Proud. Passionate. Grateful. Kind.

These are just a few words that describe our amazing women doctors as we celebrated National Women Physicians Day Feb. 3, which honors women physicians' pioneering achievements and ongoing contributions in the health care field.

Thousands of deliveries later, a baby’s first breath still thrills Dr. Melissa Bayne

It never gets old.

Melissa Bayne, D.O., OB-GYN section chief for Corewell Health Gerber Hospital’s medical group, has delivered more than 3,000 babies during her nearly 20-year career. Each time, it’s just as amazing.

“Even after all these years, it’s so special to watch a baby take their first breath of life in my hands,” she said.

Dr. Bayne is full of passion for her work, but what led to her pursuing medicine was painful.

At 16 she broke her arm and had multiple complications. She was in the hospital for a long time, she said. It ended her gymnastics career, and the loss of her athlete identity meant the loss of her social network.

While she was up all night in the hospital on pain medication, a light of kindness shone through. Sometimes when she couldn’t sleep, a resident would play video games with her. She never forgot that kindness. From then on, she wanted to emulate that, to be somebody who could help others that way.

“I am a person who thrives off of adversity and I love learning,” she said. “I love being challenged. I love people. I love being around people. I love being a helper. So, I think that those things all came together in that hospital setting, even though it was hard.”

She was inspired by her family to work in women’s health. Both her mom and stepmom are nurses, and Dr. Bayne remembers the first time she saw a baby born at her mom’s work. It was incredible, not only because of the baby, but she saw her mom be smart, kind and amazing at her job.

Her mother also encouraged her to stay in medical school at a time when Dr. Bayne wondered if she was cut out for the industry.

She attended Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. During an emergency room rotation at an inner-city hospital, she saw a lot of trauma, tragedy, death and disease. It shook Dr. Bayne to her core in a way she didn’t think was possible.

“I remember calling my mom and asking her if I was going to drop out because I couldn't take it. And she was like no, no, no, you're in debt. You have a lot of med school debt, just keep going,” Dr. Bayne laughed.

Thank goodness she pushed through. She helped deliver her first baby her third year of medical school, and it reaffirmed she was on the right path.

“The beauty of life after I had seen so much suffering and death was captivating,” she said.

Now in her leadership role, she tries to bring awareness to the hardships women face working in the field, especially balancing being a mother with working on-call for emergencies. She still loves what she does and is absolutely humbled to be in the birthing space and with someone their whole pregnancy journey, she said.

Dr. Shabana Khan: From ‘doctor baby’ to more than 45 years in the medical field

Shabana Khan, M.D., doesn’t come from a family of doctors, but she might have been destined to become one.

From the day she was born, her nanny called her “doctor baby.” Why?

“I don't know,” Dr. Khan laughed. “Probably that's what she wanted.”

Dr. Khan’s nanny certainly got what she wanted. The internal medicine physician has been practicing medicine for more than 45 years and is affiliated with Corewell Health’s Dearborn and Taylor hospitals. She served as Dearborn hospital’s section head of internal medicine from 2015 to 2018.

Hailing from the same city as the Taj Mahal, Agra, Dr. Khan received her medical degree from Maharani Laxmi Bai Medical College in Jhansi, Uttar  Pradesh, India. She completed an internal medicine internship and residency at Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn in 1983 and 1985.

The hospital feels like “home away from home.” Two of her children were born there and her husband, Parvez Khan, M.D., is also a Corewell Health physician. Her husband and children have always been very supportive of her work, Dr. Khan said.

Although her father was a lawyer and her mother a homemaker, Dr. Khan did say she had a doctor role model growing up, her very nice pediatrician.

“It was his demeanor. He always had a smile and made you feel comfortable. And best thing was we never got a shot in his office,” she laughed.

Dr. Khan has tried to emulate her childhood pediatrician, and she’s tried to serve as a role model for others.

Throughout her decades in the medical field, Dr. Khan has seen more women join the field. During the 2023–2024 academic year, women comprised more than 56% of medical school applicants and more than 54% of total enrollment, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Dr. Khan only remembers a small handful of female physicians when she started practicing, so she’s very happy to see so many more women interested in a medical career. Including her daughter, who’s now a physician in Minnesota.

She would like to see more female specialists, but just having more women in the field is a great start. More women in the field leads to more women role models, leading to more women wanting to join the industry.

In fact, Dr. Khan’s granddaughter has been inspired by her mother and grandmother. At the age of 7, she’s already thinking about becoming a doctor one day.

“I'm seeing already a lot of improvement,” Dr. Khan said. “I think if we continue with this way, women may take over medicine. Girls are smart. Girls, when they make a goal, they follow it through.”

Full bloom: Dr. Esther Servillas’ journey in primary care began with a seed of wonder

Esther Servillas, M.D., an internal medicine physician at Corewell Health Primary Care Royalton, was fascinated with science as a child.

“It was full of wonder,” she said. “How do you plant a seed, and a plant actually comes up? Somebody gets a cut, and you nurse it, and it heals. Those things fueled that interest.”

Grateful for her parents’ support, Dr. Servillas reminisced about playing doctor as a child, tending to her father’s construction-induced cuts.

“My parents were very encouraging when I said I wanted to be a doctor,” she said.

Choosing the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria for her medical education, Dr. Servillas entered a field where women were becoming increasingly prevalent. Reflecting on her 2012 graduating class, she noted that 50% were women, highlighting the progress made in gender representation.

Acknowledging the trailblazers before her, Dr. Servillas recognized the challenges faced by women in earlier generations. She recalled a retired colleague who was one of only three women in her graduating class, emphasizing the evolving landscape captured in the hallway of medical class photos from the 1960s to the present.

Completing her residency in internal medicine and a geriatric medicine fellowship at RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago, Dr. Servillas earned her master’s degree in public health. Three years ago, she joined Corewell Health in Michigan.

As a mother of two, balancing family life and a medical career has presented challenges for Dr. Servillas, who shared the difficulties women in medicine face, particularly in family planning and managing the demands of home and work life. 

“It’s a balancing game between home, work, pumping schedules – that was a whole new world I was not prepared for,” she said.

Despite these challenges, Dr. Servillas emphasized the importance of passion in medicine. For her, it's the love for the field that keeps her going. Reflecting on her experiences, she advised aspiring medical professionals to pursue a career they genuinely enjoy, as that is where they will find the most fulfillment.

Dr. Servillas’ journey from childhood fascination to a flourishing career exemplifies the enduring power of a planted seed, as she noted, “If medicine is something that you love, you’re going to do it. It should be something that you really enjoy doing, and that’s when you’re going to get the most out of it.”

 Copyright © 2024 Beaumont Health