A Tradition of Excellence in Women’s Healthcare
For Over 75 Years
The Durham Women’s Clinic has maintained a tradition of excellence in obstetric and gynecologic care since opening our doors in 1941. We proceed according to our core values of caring, integrity, excellence, and respect. Our goal is to maintain and continuously improve upon these standards and exceed your expectations. Once patients come for their first appointment, they often become patients for life.
The first thing our patients notice and comment about is how warm and friendly our environment is. We often hear how impressed they are that we know them by face and by name. Our staff is excellent, our doctors are approachable, and it is clear to all who visit us repeatedly that we love coming to work at the office.
Our practice has expanded, grown, and developed to meet the varied needs of these lifetime patients and to be attractive to new patients. Regardless of your age and/or the stage of life you are entering or leaving, we have the experience and expertise to take care of you and to become your primary health care provider. On the rare occasion we find an issue that is outside our range of care, we are networked in our community and maintain close relationships with internists, psychiatrists, general surgeons, and other specialists. Our office also offers preventative care, and three of our providers speak English and Spanish.
Durham Women’s Clinic is unique for many reasons. Our founder, Dr. Eleanor Easley, the first female in history to receive a four year medical degree from Duke University, teamed up with Dr. Richard Pearce to form Durham Women’s Clinic in 1941.
While many men were overseas having been drafted for the war, Dr. Easley, a team player, cared for the vast number of women still needing medical excellence while male physicians were absent. Dr. Easley accomplished all of this despite the strong bias against women in medicine. She was a shrewd businesswoman and leader, and overcame all obstacles to not only establish our practice, but to pioneer many changes with regards to obstetrics, gynecology, and medicine in general.
Later, Dr. Easley approached legislatures to support a bill that would allow non-medical personnel (such as physician’s assistants) to practice medicine. Shortly after, she hired a trained certified nurse midwife (Nancy Carreras) and became the first medical practice in the state of North Carolina to have in-house midwifery services.
She and her partner, Dr. Pearce, then established a relationship and partnership with Yale University’s School of Nurse Midwifery. Students would come one or two at a time for a six-month internship at Durham Women’s Clinic. So even then, women were given many unique options for their care.
The seeds for a team approach to patient care were planted in 1941 and the resulting “blossoms” that were safely nurtured by Dr. Easley, Dr. Pearce, and their successors brighten and differentiate our practice from all others even today, in the next century. Our patients affirm that this is what makes our practice unique and keeps them coming back for years. Our patients feel compelled to refer their friends and family to us because the net result of our warm and friendly team approach is the feeling that we are our patients’ second family. We are delighted to say that the feeling is mutual!
Other little known BIG facts about our practice: Turnover is not common and our patients love to see the same faces year after year, with the same big happy smiles they had when they started at WHA Durham in the eighties or nineties.
Dr. Pearce was widely known for his use of hypnotherapy before and during labor and delivery. If he himself couldn’t be at the birth, he hypnotized the patients to have a positive hypnotic response to other doctors who would be substituting for him (more teamwork!).
Patients from distances as far as Virginia came to have their obstetric and gynecological care at Durham Women’s Clinic because of the unique and fine reputations of these providers and their staff. Also, though widely uncommon at that time, Durham Women’s Clinic was also ahead of the curve by allowing fathers to stay with mothers during labor and delivery; yet more evidence of the emphasis placed on teamwork.