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News | March 28, 2024

Doctor reunites with medical student he delivered decades ago

By Curtis Hill

A military medical student at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton was reunited with the doctor who delivered her into the world more than two decades ago.

Ensign Hannah Ortiz is currently in the middle of her family medicine rotation as part of her medical education through the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU).

Retired Navy Capt. William Roberts was an active-duty family medicine physician at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in 2000 when he delivered young Hannah Ortiz, the daughter of a Marine stationed on the Marine Corps Base.
Ensign Hannah Ortiz as a toddler. Ortiz is currently a Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical student on a family medicine rotation at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, where she reunited with Retired Navy Capt. William Roberts, a family medicine physician, who delivered her at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital more than two decades ago. Photo courtesy of Ens. Hannah Ortiz
Ensign Hannah Ortiz as a toddler. Ortiz is currently a Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical student on a family medicine rotation at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, where she reunited with Retired Navy Capt. William Roberts, a family medicine physician, who delivered her at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital more than two decades ago. Photo courtesy of Ens. Hannah Ortiz
Ensign Hannah Ortiz as a toddler. Ortiz is currently a Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical student on a family medicine rotation at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, where she reunited with Retired Navy Capt. William Roberts, a family medicine physician, who delivered her at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital more than two decades ago. Photo courtesy of Ens. Hannah Ortiz
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Ensign Hannah Ortiz as a toddler. Ortiz is currently a Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical student on a family medicine rotation at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, where she reunited with Retired Navy Capt. William Roberts, a family medicine physician, who delivered her at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital more than two decades ago. Photo courtesy of Ens. Hannah Ortiz
Photo By: Curtis Hill
VIRIN: 240328-O-EQ418-7721

“I began delivering babies in 1982 and have delivered or supervised the delivery of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of babies over my career,” said Roberts. “I’ve had patients who told me that I had delivered them, but this is the first time I’ve heard that from one of our medical students.”

Ortiz knew who had delivered her because her mother would speak often about the wonderful doctor she had for the birth of her daughter, and this wasn’t the first interaction between the two.
Retired Navy Capt. William Roberts, a family medicine physician at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, poses with Ens. Hannah Ortiz, a Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical student on a family medicine rotation at NHCP. More than two decades ago, Roberts delivered Ortiz at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and the two recently reconnected during the five-week rotation. Photo courtesy of Dr. William Roberts.
Retired Navy Capt. William Roberts, a family medicine physician at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, poses with Ens. Hannah Ortiz, a Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical student on a family medicine rotation at NHCP. More than two decades ago, Roberts delivered Ortiz at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and the two recently reconnected during the five-week rotation. Photo courtesy of Dr. William Roberts.
Retired Navy Capt. William Roberts, a family medicine physician at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, poses with Ens. Hannah Ortiz, a Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical student on a family medicine rotation at NHCP. More than two decades ago, Roberts delivered Ortiz at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and the two recently reconnected during the five-week rotation. Photo courtesy of Dr. William Roberts.
840328-O-EQ418-8665
Retired Navy Capt. William Roberts, a family medicine physician at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, poses with Ens. Hannah Ortiz, a Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical student on a family medicine rotation at NHCP. More than two decades ago, Roberts delivered Ortiz at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and the two recently reconnected during the five-week rotation. Photo courtesy of Dr. William Roberts.
Photo By: Curtis Hill
VIRIN: 840328-O-EQ418-8665

“My mom raves about him to this day,” Ortiz added. “We saw him in either 2012 or 2013 at the old hospital when my dad was stationed here on Camp Pendleton again,” Ortiz said. “My mom introduced me to him when she saw him during a medical visit to the hospital.”

Hannah will only be here for her five-week rotation; however, the opportunity to reunite with the wonderful doctor who brought her into the world was too good to pass up.

“When I got here, I asked if Dr. Roberts happened to still work here,” she said. “I thought maybe he had retired. He had, but he still works here as a civilian doctor!”

Although she often heard of the doctor who delivered her, a career in medicine was not an obvious choice.

“The first thing for me was military service. My family has a long history of military service and that’s why I wanted to attend the Naval Academy,” Ortiz explained. “During my plebe year, I was undecided on what path I wanted to pursue, but I had an academic advisor who gave me great advice and inspiration that led to my interest in the Medical Corps. I applied to USU and here I am on my way to becoming a doctor.”

The uniqueness of the situation was not lost on Roberts who now has accumulated nearly 50 years of service in Navy Medicine between his uniformed and civilian service.

“It very nice the way things come around. I’m so impressed with Hannah because she went to the Naval Academy, was accepted to USU, and is pursuing a career in Navy Medicine,’ he said. “I’m grateful and honored to have been able to play a part in the beginning of her life and now as she continues the military legacy of her family.”

Roberts added one final thought, “Oh, and it makes me really feel old!”

Story originally posted on DVIDS: Doctor reunites with medical student he delivered decades ago 
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