Meet Dr. Royster: We Are Clayton Magazine
“I don’t mean to be biased but we women, we’re a special type,” Dr. Letitia Royster of My OBGYN said as she smiled. “We really do run the world – think of all the responsibilities women have!”
Of these, a woman’s responsibility to self and her health is often of utmost importance and also is where Royster, who’s been practicing since 1997, steps in. Her goal is to encourage women to take charge of their health while making it easier and uncomplicated for her patients to do so.
“My relationship with my patients is different than those between a doctor and a patient who’s stopped in for a regular blood pressure or cholesterol check up,” Royster said. “It’s much more personal. I chose to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology because it is always exciting and there is instant gratification when I see my patients give birth and they are happy and healthy.”
And when her patients aren’t as healthy as they could be, Royster does everything in her power to partner with her patients to restore their health and get them back on track.
“I’m not just a physician, I’m a teacher,” Royster said. “I’m not going to tell you what to do. I’m going to tell you what we’ve got, what your options are and how we’re going to get through it.”
Her biggest opportunities to teach women about important health issues arise when moms bring their daughters to see her before they go off to college.“There are things young women need to know before they go to college,” Royster said. “Like understanding the difference between a pelvic exam and a PAP smear - A PAP smear is a cervical cancer screening. It’s like colon cancer screenings in that you don’t have to get it done but you should.”
Aside from preventative measures like screenings, Royster cites diet and exercise as two of the biggest factors women need to pay attention to in order to preserve their overall health.
“There are no quick fixes when it comes to your health,” Royster said. “At some point, you’ve got to make the decision to be healthy for life.”
And when a woman does decide to make lifestyle changes to better her health, Royster warns against jumping in head first. Instead, she recommends taking it slow. Working toward one goal such as quitting smoking, increasing physical activity or losing weight is a positive first step.
“You have to count something to hold yourself accountable when working toward your goals,” Royster said. “If you’re trying to lose weight, recognize that what you put in your body, you have to burn off. You can’t fall into diet fads because it isn’t about getting into that swimsuit next June. It’s about being healthy forever.”
Royster recommends every woman talk to her doctor about what exactly “eating right” means for her, as it can vary from one woman to the next. She also suggests women set a goal of working out for 35-45 minutes three times a week but stresses the importance of working up to that goal.
“Give yourself 3-6 months to get to that point where you’re working out three times a week,” Royster said. “Start small and slowly work physical activities into your schedule and you’ll see that the kids will be fed, your job gets done, the errands have been run, etc. – and you’ve still done something for you!”