About A. Nicole Sparks, MD
A. Nicole Sparks, MD
Specialties: Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, Gynecology, Obstetrics - Gynecology
Location: Watson Clinic Highlands
Dr. Amanda Sparks provides comprehensive women’s care from our Highlands location at 2300 E. County Rd. 540A in south Lakeland. Her areas of expertise include minimally invasive surgery and adolescent gynecologic care.
Dr. Sparks received her medical degree from the University of Kentucky School of Medicine in Lexington, KY. She completed her OB-GYN internship and residency at Orlando Health/Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, FL, where she also served as Chief Administrative Resident.
She is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Polk County Medical Association.
1. What aspects of your medical education/training are important for your patients to know?
I completed my residency at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando, FL, which is one of the busiest hospitals in the country for deliveries and a referral center for all of Central Florida. The fast and demanding schedule taught me how to act and react under stress. As a result, there are not many pregnancy complications that I have not directly managed, and I am comfortable in most any obstetrical situations. I consider myself better prepared than most to manage very complicated and unique pregnancies.
Additionally, I was trained in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. I am skilled in both laparoscopic and robotic-assisted approaches to gynecologic surgery, and it is my personal goal to keep a surgery as minimally invasive as possible in order to improve the patient experience and recovery. I keep up-to-date on the most current guidelines and procedures and strive to provide the best patient experience possible using the most current treatments and medical technologies.
2. Why did you decide to go into the medical field?
I was one of those kids who was always getting into everything (and driving my poor mother up a wall because of it). It came from an innate desire to understand how things work, and as a child, that meant taking everything apart. As I grew up, my efforts became more constructive, and I took interest in understanding processes in the human body. My desire to go to medical school was then solidified. Once there, I narrowed my focus to women’s care. Now I glean a great deal of fulfillment through delving into a person’s history, eliciting the issues at hand, explaining or discovering why they occur, and fixing them.
3. What is your philosophy for patient care?
Every person has a unique story and personal experience. My goal is always to listen. Often the solution to a person’s troubles comes from simply talking about the problem, and sometimes the discussion itself can be therapeutic. Some patients just need the opportunity to talk.
4. Which accomplishment in your medical career are you most proud of?
I am the first physician in my family, which meant that I did not have any role models to instruct or inform my path to medical school, as many aspiring physicians often do. I navigated the path to medical school entirely on my own. I was often overwhelmed with uncertainty as there were many parts of the application and interview process that were confusing and frustrating. It would have been easy to give up, but I think that it speaks to my resolve and dedication to medicine that I ended up where I am. There is a certain bravery that anyone must have when forging a new path, and I am proud of my own bravery. I couldn’t be happier to have become a physician.
5. What are some of the treatments or procedures you offer?
Obstetrics and Gynecology is a very diverse field, basically encompassing all aspects of the care of women. Inherent in my training is the ability to care for women through both normal and high-risk pregnancies, providing all aspects of that care directly through my office or in partnership with a Perinatologist. Another very important aspect of the services I provide is through preventative and primary care, often encountered in the setting of an annual gynecologic exam. It is there that I discuss cancer screenings, routine labwork and immunizations, and help my patients maintain their health and longevity.
There are many instances when Obstetric and Gynecologic problems are encountered. I provide the following kinds of care or treatment:
- Management of abnormal menstruation
- In-office endometrial ablation
- Birth control management, including implants and IUDs
- Permanent surgical sterilization procedures
- Medical and surgical management of fibroids
- Endometriosis and care of chronic pelvic pain
- Care of the menopausal female, including hormone replacement therapy
- diVa® Laser Vaginal Therapy
- Osteoporosis diagnosis and care
- Operative services for gynecologic conditions involving the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix, and/or vagina and vulva
- Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, including the da Vinci robot
- Management of abnormal Pap results, including colposcopy and in-office LEEP procedures
- In-office hysteroscopy
- Urodynamic testing and management of urinary incontinence
- Fitting and maintenance of pessary
- Surgical management of pelvic organ prolapse
- Infertility care and evaluation of recurrent pregnancy loss
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome diagnosis and management
- Adolescent gynecologic evaluation and management
- Vaginal birth after cesarean section
- Cervical cerclage
- Medical and surgical management of ectopic pregnancy
- Evaluation of female sexual dysfunction
6. Tell us a little about your upbringing and family life?
I grew up in Russell, a small town in eastern Kentucky, but I always say I’m from Ashland because that’s the closest city that anyone’s heard of. My parents raised me along with two other sisters and a brother. My undergraduate education was completed at the University of Louisville, and I completed medical school at the University of Kentucky. I met my husband while in medical school. We married one week after I finished medical school and moved to Florida where I had matched into the Winnie Palmer Hospital residency program in Orlando. We now are living happily in Lakeland with our two dogs, a Pomeranian and another mixed breed rescue, and my cat, who I rescued in undergrad.
7. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy visiting with friends and family as often as possible. Music has always been a large part of my life as well. I started piano lessons at age 7 and continued through high school. I was involved in choir through high school and college and I still enjoy singing whenever I can. More recently I have picked up some new hobbies, including playing tennis and sewing. I have even starting sewing baby hats to give to any of the patients that I care for during their pregnancy or in labor and delivery! In the future, I look forward to traveling more and maybe learning how to cook.
8. Anything else you would like to share with patients?
Always ask questions of your physicians, but never be afraid of the care provided by a young physician. Certainly, a lot is gained through experience, but the newest generation of physicians are skilled in the latest techniques and medical innovations. This is also a generation of physicians who have been told – often by their own mentors - to pick any other field to enter other than medicine. They have continued along this path despite this discouragement for one overarching reason – they love what they do. Many physicians of my generation didn’t necessarily sign up for the prestige and the paycheck. Physicians make a good living, but it is not the extravagant lifestyle that generations of the past have enjoyed, and healthcare is an embattled field now much more than it has ever been. The physicians who enter the field now are doing so because they truly have a passion for being here, and that is the kind of physician that you want on your side and overseeing your care.