About Eric A. Widra, M.D.
Eric A. Widra, M.D., is the medical director of Shady Grove Fertility in Metropolitan Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; and Philadelphia, and the associate director of the Combined Federal Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility—a post-graduate training program for future leaders in this subspecialty, operated through the National Institutes of Health, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Shady Grove Fertility.
Dr. Widra received his medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and his residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He completed a reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellowship at The George Washington University. Dr. Widra is currently professor and director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.
At a national level, Dr. Widra has served as chairman of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) Practice Committee, a member of the SART Executive Committee, and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Practice Committee.
In addition to his clinical practice at Shady Grove Fertility, Dr. Widra supervises the extensive research activities and academic ventures of the practice. He has produced numerous publications and presentations in the field of infertility and reproductive technologies. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and a fellow of the American Academy of Wilderness Medicine.
- Residency: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
- Fellowship: Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, The George Washington University
Awards & Recognition
- Physician Board at American Health Council
- 2016 Inaugural Physicians Council Member, RESOLVE The Infertility Association
- Washingtonian’s Top Doctors for Infertility (1994-2019)
- Northern Virginia Magazine Top Doctors (2020)
- Washington Consumers CHECKBOOK’s Top Doctors (2015)
- American Academy of Wilderness Medicine
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine
- Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Q & A
Q: Why did you become a doctor/reproductive endocrinologist (REI)?
A: I went into obstetrics and gynecology because I thought I wanted to be a gynecologic oncologist. Once I started my training and was exposed to REI, the medical, surgical, and ethical challenges and the ability to achieve such an important goal for patients pulled me into this field.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: I find inspiration in many places—from my patients, from music and literature, and from athletics. Overcoming adversity, whether medical, intellectual, or physical, inspires me the most.
Q: What are your hobbies and why do you enjoy them?
A: I’ve been accused of having too many hobbies—I am a serial offender in getting into too many things. I find most satisfaction in enjoying the outdoors—biking, sailing—and in music.
Q: What is something about you that would surprise most people?
A: I started taking guitar lessons at age 49.
Q: What about SGF makes you the most proud?
A: We combine the most cutting-edge science and medicine with an individualized, patient-centered approach.
Q: What’s on your bucket list?
A: Trekking the Himalayas. Playing in a rock band.
Q: Describe a time you were inspired by a patient.
A: I’m inspired by patients every day. Our patients come fearful and anxious. When we work together as a team and achieve goals from the smallest to the largest—just getting treatment started or having a healthy baby, the satisfaction is immense
Q: What is your approach to helping patients who are struggling?
A: To ask why, listen, and try to offer a solution. Even if that solution is a difficult decision to change course or stop treatment.
Q: How would you describe your personality?
A: I am open, honest, and data-driven. I can sometimes seem blunt, but I try to combine a transparent review of the facts with compassion for the feelings they create.
I find inspiration in many places—from my patients, from music and literature, and from athletics. Overcoming adversity, whether medical, intellectual, or physical, inspires me the most.
“Because of Dr. Widra, I/we have a set of wonderful 11 year old twins (boy/girl) and a 13 year old! Back in 2002, when no one else believed we could conceive, he did! And when the going got tough, he hung in there with us. It took 7 cycles, and it was worth it!”
“I started at Shady Grove Fertility with Dr. Widra in fall 2013, and continued as his patient until spring 2015, when I had a successful pregnancy (wahoo!). My husband and I are both under 30 and healthy and seemingly would have been an easy couple to help get pregnant. Unfortunately, with every test it seemed that the odds were against us. We did 2 IUIs, 3 IVFs, and got pregnant during our first FET. Throughout our lengthy treatment with Dr. Widra, he was always upfront and honest about our situation, and his opinions on what our next move should be. He was able to keep me focused on the end goal after each failed attempt, and in the end kept us on the right path to achieve a successful pregnancy. Infertility is a stressful thing to experience, and the treatments can drive you crazy and drain you of hope, but luckily Dr. Widra and his WONDERFUL nurses were able to help us in the game and we ultimately got pregnant.”
“Dr. Widra was very friendly, comforting and informative.”
“The best part of my experience was the clear and objective discussion with Dr. Widra and the explanation behind the options laid out. There is more holistic patient management at Shady Grove Fertility compared to my experience in other clinics.”
“My partner and I LOVE working with Dr. Widra.“
“Dr. Widra was excellent throughout our entire infertility journey. He was very clear in his diagnosis, very positive and patient, and answered all our questions. Most importantly, we felt like he did not waste ANY time during the process. Although we only spoke to our nurse and not him on a daily basis, we knew he was keeping close track of our protocol and changing it as we needed. We have two beautiful babies now and can only recommend him and the whole SGF practice.”
“We had been seeking fertility treatments for three years, and had three different providers before we got connected with Dr. Widra. He, and his team (we had Robin as our nurse) have been incredible. They were always helpful, reachable, attentive, personable/caring and met us where we were at in our process, physically and emotionally. And the best part, after five years of trying to get a baby, we’ve got a healthy baby girl on the way in January! (IVF, first time).”
“I’ve been a patient of Dr. Widra for about two years. In those two years, Dr. Widra has been the kind of doctor I needed to go through the infertility journey with. He listens well, communicates effectively with accurate assessments (he’s not going to sell one on false hope), and he genuinely wants every patient of his to graduate from his care. When we learned we were pregnant, he was there at the end to send us off and it added to the joyous moment.”
- Luke B, Brown MB, Wantman E, et al. Application of a validated prediction model for in vitro fertilization: comparison of live birth rates and multiple birth rates with 1 embryo transferred over 2 cycles vs. 2 embryos in 1 cycle. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015;212:676 e1-7.
- Hill MJ, Royster GD, Healy MW, et al. Are good patient and embryo characteristics protective against the negative effect of elevated progesterone level on the day of oocyte maturation? Fertil Steril. 2015;103:1477-84.
- Devine K, Connell MT, Richter KS, et al. Single vitrified blastocyst transfer maximizes liveborn children per embryo while minimizing preterm birth. Fertil Steril. 2015;103:1454-60.
- Luke B, Brown MB, Wantman E, et al. A prediction model for live birth and multiple births within the first three cycles of assisted reproductive technology. Fertil Steril. 2014;102:744-52.
- Wolff EF, Vahidi N, Alford C, Richter K, Widra E. Influences on endometrial development during intrauterine insemination: clinical experience of 2,929 patients with unexplained infertility. Fertil Steril. 2013;100:194-9 e1.
- Hill MJ, Richter KS, Heitmann RJ, et al. Number of supernumerary vitrified blastocysts is positively correlated with implantation and live birth in single-blastocyst embryo transfers. Fertil Steril. 2013;99:1631-6.
- Heitmann RJ, Hill MJ, Richter KS, DeCherney AH, Widra EA. The simplified SART embryo scoring system is highly correlated to implantation and live birth in single blastocyst transfers. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2013;30:563-7.
- Manipalviratn S, Tong ZB, Stegmann B, Widra E, Carter J, DeCherney A. Effect of vitrification and thawing on human oocyte ATP concentration. Fertil Steril. 2011;95:1839-41.
- Mesen TB, Yu B, Richter KS, Widra E, DeCherney AH, Segars JH. The prevalence of genuine empty follicle syndrome. Fertil Steril. 2011;96:1375-7.
- Michalakis KG, Mesen TB, Brayboy LM, et al. Subclinical elevations of thyroid-stimulating hormone and assisted reproductive technology outcomes. Fertil Steril. 2011;95:2634-7.
WHEN: 4/20/2021 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
WHO: Current Patients
*For Maryland, Virginia, D.C., and Pennsylvania residents* Shady Grove Fertility is offering a free virtual support group for individuals or couples in the LGBTQ+ community who are trying to get pregnant using third party reproduction. This group offers a safe and comfortable environment to share stories and resources on the journey to pregnancy and during. This ongoing support group provides you the opportunity to meet and connect with others who are also going through fertility treatment as a way to grow a family.