About Dr. Ricki
I specialize in comprehensive care for all ages of women, from adolescence through our 9th decade. The initial interview is interactive, and I listen carefully to women’s health concerns, mood issues and past experiences with health care. I encourage women to have a thorough physical exam, while paying special attention to breast health, are always included in good patient care. Standard age and stage-appropriate health care screening, as well as comprehensive lab tests specific to past medical history and genetic/family history of disease are offered. Wellness-promoting life style choices and nutrition education are central to your health. Integration of emotional wellbeing and mood issues are important aspects of women’s lives. As desired patients may be referred for nutrition, naturopathic therapy, psychological counseling, traditional Chinese medicine. Over my many years of clinical practice integrating main stream health care with complementary healing practices are central aspects of my practice as a gynecologist. Contraception, family planning, HRT, Bioidentical hormone therapy, PMS treatments, appropriate health screening and long term disease risk reduction are incorporated into patient care.
My career is focused on optimal health throughout the life cycle. From birth control to weight management, sexuality to balancing career goals and relationships, nutrition and life style—comprehensive attention to your “whole life” experience adds up to healthy longevity. From birth control hormones to HRT (hormone replacement therapy) using primarily bio-identical hormones (BHT), these choices can reduce your risk for functional loss and dependency over time. Considerations that optimize fertility while enhancing quality of life are included in discussions leading to your choice.
Further insight into the depth of our need to nurture ourselves throughout a woman’s life is fueled by having delivered over 1,500 babies, being a mother and now grandmother of two little girls. From babyhood to adulthood, we all deserve compassionate, kind and thorough attention to our individual needs. Many women find themselves facing midlife without good information that helps them anticipate changes in mind-body experiences. Sharing valuable information with women helps prevent needless suffering from changes in sleep, body comfort, libido, hair loss, and many subtle changes that can occur when ovaries stop producing adequate balanced hormones. I specialize in the endocrinology of menopause and overall disease risk reduction as reflected in individual patient care options and shared clinical management decision-making, with an emphasis on breast cancer early detection, diagnosis, treatment options and ongoing cancer survivor care.
I serve on the Board of Trustees of the National Consortium of Breast Centers, NCBC.org, and was elected the honor of Fellowship in this international organization. I also serve on the Board of the California Institute of Integral Studies, CIIS.edu, where I am Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. My active involvement in breast cancer research prior to medical school allows knowledgeable engagement in prevention, early detection, and multidisciplinary integrated care throughout my career. I bring a great depth of understanding as well as coordinated and navigated care to women with these special concerns.
CIIS is a University in San Francisco that uniquely provides baccalaureate completion, post graduate master’s and PhD education that is integral in its mission: broadening ethically-connected knowledge and inquiry towards greater understanding of diversity and creating peace.
I am a member of the following professional organizations: American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). Fellow, 1984 to present. International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSSH) 2010 to present, the North American Menopause Society, 1992 to present, awarded the NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner 2006, NCBC/ American Society of Breast Disease, 1994 to present, San Francisco Medical Society/ California Medical Association 1981 to present. Editorial Board, 1998-present. Editor in Chief, 1999- 2001. Past Activities include membership in the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 1983 to 2010, the American Medical Writers Association, 1994-2000. My academic appointments include: Volunteer Clinical faculty at UC San Francisco (Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic, LPNI, UCSF, Gynecology and female sexuality courses) former faculty at the University of Arizona School of Medicine (associate professor Medicine and Public Health “Current issues in women and children’s health” course) and adjunct teaching in the Integral Health Studies Program of the California Institute of Integral Studies (see www.CIIS.edu master’s program in Integral Health, IHL).
As part of community outreach I enjoy accepting invitations to speak to women’s groups devoted to disease risk reduction and maximizing quality of life and healthy years. I have appeared as a regular women’s health guest expert on local and national television and radio programs as well as public lectures (eg: Red Dress Society to prevent heart disease, New York City, May 2016). Professional continuing education seminars for doctors, nurses, physician assistants and psychologists continue to be a regular part of my professional activities
For 15 years I served on the board of the Patient Assistance Foundation whose job it is to raise money for health education, social services and financial counseling for those in need (1985-2000). I was a founding board member of and served on the non-profit West Oakland Sophia Project Board of trustees, (1998-2014 when it closed its door), devoted to caring for near-homeless mothers and children.
My hobbies include savory cooking and baking, having held a job as pastry chef assistant during college and never losing my enthusiasm for good organic home cooking. I also enjoy music (when I can practice, I play viola in chamber music groups and sing soprano), studying consciousness, reading a diversity of philosophical and historical writers, Yoga and hiking to explore nature and the world.
My public-oriented books include “The Pocket Guide to Bioidentical Hormones,” Alpha Press 2010, and “Mother Nurture, Self and Relationship Care While Being a Mother,” with Rick and Jan Hanson, Penguin, 2002. Academic publications include clinical standards of care for prescribing testosterone for Female Sexual Dysfunction, Osteoporosis prevention and treatment, Ospemiphene (Osphena ®) in treating painful intercourse (dyspareunia), as well as the Evolutionary Origin and Significance of Menopause.
Born in Boston, MA, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area at age 4. Growing up in suburban Walnut Creek in the 50’s and 60’s I witnessed the shift in social structures and mother’s roles first hand. An avid baby sitter from age 12, I learned early about the struggles of the working professional mother. Highly impressed by a neighbor who was a mother, wife and pediatrician, at age 8 I knew I wanted to be a doctor. The needs of women, especially those engaged in the process of raising children, have captivated my professional interest throughout my career. I was educated at public schools, from kindergarten through attending UC Berkeley, where I earned a BA in Zoology-Immunology, followed by a Master’s degree in Health Sciences, also at UC Berkeley. I then received my M.D. from UC San Francisco, (when 6% of American medical students were female!) and became a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist. As a leader in the practice of integrative medicine in women’s health care, I have continued to expand my knowledge of alternative and complementary therapies in service to my patients. I am a former Chief of the Division of Gynecology at the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), in addition to serving as chair of the task force to create CPMC’s Breast Health Center and am its founding Director for Education.
I live and work in the beautiful city of San Francisco. In 1994 I stopped delivering babies, with a desire to be home more with my own (then) 11 year old daughter, appreciating that to nurture my own nest I could no longer do Obstetrics with its irregular hours and frequent emergencies. I continue to have the pleasure of assisting my patients with their early infant and self care post partum, as well as taking care of them (and now many of their daughters whom I delivered!) through many fruitful years of motherhood. For those of us who have not been biological mothers, whether or not a career outside the home was a driving force, relationship nurturing and biological life cycle changes force women to pay more attention to our health as both mystery and call to action. Men never undergo the huge hormone shifts that women experience on average at 51, when 50% of us are in menopause. Work life balance is an ongoing challenge and one that weaves into women’s health care at every age and stage.
More Background about Dr. Pollycove and why her care is different
During her sabbatical 1994-96 in Arizona, Dr. Pollycove studied for and passed their Family Practice board exam as part of becoming licensed to practice while living there. She resumed her private practice in San Francisco after 2 year sabbatical ( professor at the University of Arizona School of Medicine and consultant to the Arizona Department of Health Services, Maricopa County AIDS Education and Community Health, as well as Co-Chair of the Arizona WOmen’s Cancer Network. With a Masters in Science from UC Berkeley she has always maintained a community overview as she is dedicated to preserving individual choices in highly personalized health care.