In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

October 20, 2015

Celebrating Thousands of Treasured Moments

By In the Loop

Laurence Nace, M.D., has delivered approximately 5,500 babies during his career at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. After finishing college and medical school in his native Ohio, and five years of residency in Chicago, Laurence Nace, M.D., could have gone in a number of different directions with his medical career. But after a stint in the Twin Cities, he opened a practice in Austin, Minnesota. That was 1985. A few years later, Dr. Nace sold his practice to what is now Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, where he spent the remainder of his career as a general obstetrician/gynecologist. Along the way, he's brought a lot of babies into the world.

"A long time ago I decided that I'd be most happy and that the most treasured moments of practice and patient contact would come by being able to help deliver patients' children," Dr. Nace tells us. And while he says he doesn't have exact numbers, throughout his career, Dr. Nace has been a part of several thousand such treasured moments. He's tracked the numbers in a database since 1987, and it had approximately 5,500 deliveries, he says. "I don't have an exact number, because there's no way to tell how many of those were double entries for twins or other things like that." Before that, he figures he'd delivered another 1,500 to 2,000 babies.

Exact numbers or not, that's impressive. And Dr. Nace says the significance isn't lost on him. "One of the first babies I delivered in Austin went on to become a student in the surgical tech program here," he says. "There was also a time when I realized that I'd probably delivered about half of my son's hockey team. That was fun."

The job, of course, wasn't always fun — especially when a pregnancy or delivery didn't go according to plan. Whenever that happened, Dr. Nace says he'd think back on wise words from one of his mentors. "He told me that while it's wonderful to be able to deliver an alive, healthy baby, the patients who have suffered a loss are the ones who really need you the most," he says. "I've always tried to remember that."

Just like he says he'll always remember the thousands of encounters and relationships that made his decision to retire from Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin earlier this month so difficult. "It was really hard to leave because I was seeing quite a few patients who were in their early stages of pregnancy and who I had delivered myself just 20-some years ago," he says. "This job has been one way of really feeling like you've had an impact on your patients' lives."

You can have an impact by sharing your comments below. Then, you can use the handy social media tools to share this story with others.

Tags: Dr Laurence Nace, Employee Stories, Mayo Clinic Health System

Dr. Nace delivered my first born son in St. Paul in February 1985. I had complications and my son was born 8 weeks early, but thanks to Dr. Nace my son and I are great. My son now has a family of his own. Dr. Nace was the best doctor ever! I was devastated when he told me he was moving to Austin, but it’s great to hear of all the lives he’s brought into the world and the families he’s touched. Best wishes Dr. Nace!!!

Please sign in or register to post a reply.
Contact Us · Privacy Policy