Medical Advisor

Dr. Roth smiling with a tree in the background.
Dr. Roth

Meet Dr. Amelia Roth

Role in clinic:   My role in clinic will essentially be to serve as the medical director.  This means that I will be the medical doctor attending each clinic, and that I will be co-leading the team in growing the clinic over time.  We collectively hope to improve our services for families experiencing Rett Syndrome by listening to our patients and their caregivers regarding what will be helpful.

How do you feel about said role:  I feel privileged, motivated to continue to improve the clinic, and also humbled by all that I still have to learn about Rett Syndrome.  The patients and their families are the real experts, and I look forward to gleaning more and more knowledge and understanding from them over time, as well as through forthcoming studies and ever expanding medical literature.   I have continued close contact with the previous medical director, Dr. Mario Petersen, and have also been reaching out to Dr. Mary Jones at Katie’s Clinic, for further mentoring.  

Medical background and experience:   I attended medical school at the University of South Carolina.  I had wanted to be a pediatrician since I was about 6 year old, then became interested in being a developmental pediatrician the summer before I started medical school after working as a caregiver for a little boy with Down Syndrome.  I then went on to complete my pediatric residency at OHSU in Portland, then started working as a general pediatrician in Oregon.  I cared for 2 girls with Rett Syndrome during my 5 years as a general pediatrician, then was thrilled to be offered a fellowship in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the OHSU CDRC in Eugene.  I was mentored by Dr. Mario Petersen and a number of other developmental pediatricians during this 3 year program, which I completed in July 2019.  I am now working 3 days per week at the OHSU Eugene CDRC in both our Child Development and Neurodevelopment Clinics.  

Family: My husband John is a native Oregonian and a also a pediatric PA-C working here in Eugene at PeaceHealth, though he is also a professional DJ , which means we never have a shortage of fun music in our house!  Our daughter is 6 and in 1st grade, loves anything fuzzy and cute, and generally keeps us quite busy. 

Hobbies/favorite things to do: I adore my family and love spending time together at home and outdoors!  

Personal goals for the clinic this year:  My first goal is to expand the number of clinics provided each year.

What interests you about Rett syndrome, how did it become your specialty, and/or how are you connected to Rett syndrome?  I recall learning about Rett Syndrome in medical school and spending time with a very sweet 26 year old young woman with Rett Syndrome during a clinical rotation, which initially sparked my interest.  Then in residency I cared for a number of girls with Rett Syndrome in the hospital, and enjoyed caring for them very much while learning about the nuances of their medical care.  I then became the primary pediatrician for a very, very special little girl with Rett Syndrome a few years into my career, and she amazed me with her beauty, her desire to communicate, and her strong spirit.  When I started working closely with Dr. Mario Petersen on a daily basis during my fellowship, I had many more opportunities to learn about Rett Syndrome and was both intrigued intellectually and moved emotionally by the experience of these brave patients and their devoted families.  I was able to work with Dr. Petersen on a small research project describing early hypotonia as a more common early sign of Rett Syndrome than previously recognized, and also did a very small Quality Improvement project involving the Rett Clinic.  I suppose I cannot fully explain why being with persons experiencing Rett Syndrome gives me so much joy, but it does, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be involved in their lives!