Dr. Marcel Bacchus’ dedication to New Orleans—the city where he was born and raised—runs deep. Apart from medical school in Boston and his residency in St. Louis, he has lived in the Crescent City his entire life, and for the past 30 years, has practiced obstetrics and gynecology in the same Mid-City neighborhood in which he grew up.
What is your average day—if you have one?
I am in the office three to four days a week. Additionally, one day a week I see OB patients for the Association of Catholic Charities in Metairie, and there is typically one day where instead of the clinic, I’ll be in the hospital performing surgeries.
And then, of course, I can be called into the hospital at any time for deliveries. When my patients go into labor, I rely on my staff to alter and arrange the schedule as smoothly as possible. I have a great staff that has gotten quite good at minimizing the inconvenience to our patients.
What most challenges you?
The most challenging part of my job is also the most rewarding. I try to provide very personal service to my patients, and a large part of this is educating them on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Too often, patients think that harmful habits are completely normal. If you can change the way pregnant women take care of themselves, including proper nutrition and regular checkups, it will greatly reduce the risk of complications such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, as well as the likelihood of needing a C-section. I want my patients to have the nicest delivery possible, and everything that happens during pregnancy plays a part in that outcome.
How do you influence patients’ behavior?
Motivating my patients to make lifestyle changes is an incredible challenge. I put a lot into our initial visit; I’ll spend a long time talking with them to find out how they live. I promote personal responsibility for their health as much as I can.
Did you always want to be a physician?
I did a lot of soul searching before I decided to become a doctor. In fact, when I went to college, I wanted to be a math professor. I even considered architecture. But, in the end, I found medicine to be a lot more fulfilling.
How did you choose your specialty?
In medical school, I narrowed my scope to obstetrics and gynecology because I realized that having personal contact with patients was important to me. When a woman becomes pregnant, it is an emotional challenge, and I love being able to help her all the way through her pregnancy to make sure it is a positive experience.
What do you like about working for Touro?
Touro has made a sincere commitment to improve the quality of healthcare for women. From infrastructure to staff to technology, the hospital and related practices are constantly upgraded. I’ve been lucky enough to be with Touro since the beginning of my career.
What piece of advice would you give to a recent med-school graduate?
We’re here to serve patients. If you come out of med school with that attitude, you’ll enjoy what you do for the long term.
Crescent City Physicians
1520 North Broad
New Orleans, LA 70119
Phone: (504) 944-0101
Obstetrics & Gynecology, Washington University in St. Louis
Obstetrics & Gynecology
“As doctors, we are here to serve patients—to educate, to guide and to promote good health practices. Essentially, we are highly trained servants, and we should not forget that.”