Retinal surgery was the specialty that Joey Bird planned to pursue at East Tennessee State University’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine. That was before his scheduled rotation with a reproductive endocrinologist. “I fell in love with the patients and the way the doctor became a part of their stories,” he says. “Through the pain, the treatments, the disappointments, the happy endings – he was connected to those couples.”
Dr. Bird’s four-year residency began in 1990 in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology within the Chattanooga Unit of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. A two-year fellowship followed at the University of Louisville School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Division before he returned to Chattanooga.
For Dr. Bird, the most fascinating part of his work is the range of exposure to all facets of reproductive life. “My patients can be children, young couples, middle-aged people or elderly folks,” he says, “and every case is interesting and rewarding in its own way. I’m never bored.” You often see Joey in the office on his day off.
One thing you won’t find is Dr. Bird in a white coat at the Fertility Center. “I don’t want any barriers between me and my patients,” he explains. “I’m not their miracle. I’m just privileged to be a part of it.” His view on humanity’s limits is fueled by a strong faith and solid belief in a Higher Power, and he encourages all of his patients to find hope in some form of reliance. “Successful outcomes require the ability to count on something you can’t see.”
Dr. Bird began dating his wife, Suzanne, while in college after they’d been acquaintances for several years as a result of a friendship between their parents. They jokingly refer to their
marriage as having been “arranged.”
Joey enjoys snow-skiing as well as all kinds of water sports with his teenage son and daughter. He also participates in triathlons and other events that motivate him to exercise and stay healthy.