For Carmen Folmar, MD, board-certified OB-GYN at CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Obstetrics & Gynecology in Bardstown, teaching patients to prioritize their health is all in a day’s work.
“Women’s health has long been an afterthought, even among women,” she said. “I see patients all the time who mention that they have been so busy taking care of everyone else that they don’t have time to look after their own health. I strive to educate women on the importance of taking care of themselves so they can be their best selves.”
Fascinated by the human body while growing up in Augusta, Georgia, Dr. Folmar fulfilled her goal of becoming a physician when she graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She chose to specialize in OB-GYN because no other specialty piqued her interest like women’s health. Years later, it still excites her.
“Each day is different,” Dr. Folmar said. “I see patients in the office, perform surgeries and deliver babies, although not all on the same day!”
Dr. Folmar joined CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Obstetrics & Gynecology in Bardstown in 2016 after completing her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
“I provide routine obstetrical services, including ultrasounds, management of preexisting medical conditions and referral to specialists, as necessary,” Dr. Folmar said. “My gynecological services include mammograms, Pap smears, management of menopausal symptoms and painful periods, contraception, and many others. Each patient is unique, and I tailor care to each patient. I discuss my recommendations for treatment, and together, we decide on the final plan.”
Prescription for Greater Representation
When she’s not caring for patients, Dr. Folmar enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and honing her cooking skills by preparing new recipes. She also devotes time to another passion — advising students who look like her and want to follow in her footsteps.
“I mentor African American students interested in pursuing a career in medicine,” Dr. Folmar said. “I want to do my part to increase the number of African American students in medicine.”
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, African Americans account for only 5% of physicians; according to the Census Bureau, they comprise 13% of the U.S. population. Helping to increase African American representation in medicine would be a fitting legacy for Dr. Folmar — a physician and an educator.
"Patients have questions about their health. My goal is to help answer those questions. I do so in a way that’s compassionate and empathetic so they can trust me.”