Meet the Montana Doctor Who Loves Fishing and Families

Dr. Jeffery Palen is an obstetrician/gynecologist at Benefis Health System who specializes in complicated pregnancies, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, and the surgical management of pelvic organ prolapse. He enjoys the field of women’s health because it enables him to be involved in all the different stages of life and to help his patients live life to its fullest.

Can you describe your connection to Montana and your passion for caring for its residents?

My family and I moved to Montana almost three years ago to practice in a place where we felt a connection to the people. I come from rural roots in Minnesota and enjoy the reconnection to the ranchers and farmers here. My family and I enjoy the readily available, diverse outdoor activities.

What stands out in your career as an OB/GYN?

I delivered all my children and my two grandchildren. My wife and my daughter-in-law did all the work, of course, but those experiences were the greatest highlights of my OB/GYN career.

Are there health challenges women face today that are different from earlier in your career?

Things have definitely changed since I became a doctor in 1989. I think the pressures on women to raise their families have made it more difficult for women to pay attention to their own health, so sometimes we see problems that could have been addressed more easily early in their course.

What procedures do you perform involving robotic surgery?

I perform a wide range of robotic assisted surgeries including hysterectomy, salpingoophorectomy, resection of pelvic endometriosis, resection of pelvic masses, and pelvic organ prolapse surgery. My favorite procedure utilizing the robot is the laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy. It is an advanced surgery for moderate to severe pelvic organ prolapse with outstanding long-term results.

What brings you joy in your practice?

I find joy in watching young families grow. I also find joy in performing surgeries that are life-changing for women with severe pelvic organ prolapse problems. When I see them back in the office after surgery, they often tell me that I truly changed their life for the better.