Born and raised in Louisiana, Dr. Neil Chappel is excited to return to Baton Rouge and serve the community in all their fertility needs. As a Board Certified OBGYN with a ABOG Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Dr. Chappell brings a level of experience and expertise to the area that is invaluable. Through his medical journey he’s distinguished himself as an adept clinician, skilled surgeon, enthusiastic teacher and passionate patient advocate. We recently sat down with Dr. Chappell to learn more about him, take the time to get to know him too through our Q&A!
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Monroe, Louisiana and went to Neville High School. Growing up, I spent many of my weekends at my grandparents’ house just south of Monroe in Grayson, LA exploring a few hundred acres of land that we harvested timber and hunt on.
Q: Where did you go to school?
A: I went to college at LSU! After receiving my BA in Biology, I attended medical school at University of Texas at Houston. I then went to University of Alabama Birmingham for residency, and finally back to Houston for fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine.
Q: How did you decide on a career in medicine?
A: It was really quite simple for me. From childhood, I have been voraciously curious, and medicine was what I wanted to know most about.
Q: Was there anything that made you nervous about becoming a doctor?
A: When I was first starting out, giving a patient bad news also made me nervous. But the truth is that the experiences, rare as they are, represent important moments. It is a privilege to get to help someone through a difficult time, and one that I hold in high regard and take very seriously.
Q: How did you decide on a fellowship in infertility?
A: I felt a pull to the calling of fertility before I knew what reproductive endocrinology was called. I took an Endocrinology class at LSU and I knew that it was what I was meant to do. From there, I just had to find out how to go about doing it! So, med school, residency, and fellowship later, I am so excited to finally be on the brink of realizing these aspirations.
Q: What is most exciting to you about your field right now?
A: This field is so unique in its youth compared to most fields in medicine. The first baby born via IVF was in 1978, which means that so many of the founders of REI are still around to share the stories of so many great discoveries. And it means there are still so many things left to learn. For a curious and energetic physician, its an exciting time to be practicing fertility!
Q: Are there any myths or misconceptions regarding infertility?
A: There are unfortunately more than a few misconceptions about fertility, but I feel that this is an opportunity in practice to provide factual and realistic information and expectations for patients.
Q: What would you be doing if you hadn’t gone into medicine?
A: If I had not gone into medicine, I expect I would have wound up going into education. So many of my family members have been teachers, and I have taught as well throughout my life. I love watching someone grasp a new concept, and truthfully, I find teaching something to be a great way to be a lifelong learner too.
Q: What do you do outside of work?
A: Outside of work, I love surrounding myself with family and friends – so it’s definitely great being back in Louisiana! I love to cook, play guitar, learn a new language (Spanish and Italian for now). And I am always seeking out new experiences, whether in travel somewhere I have never been or even in the random surprises daily life brings.