John Hobbins, M.D. is widely recognized as one of the early pioneers in the development and use of obstetrical ultrasound as a diagnostic tool. Practicing medicine for nearly four decades, John is one of the world’s leading Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialists.
From his early years at Yale, where he completed his residency and went on to become Professor and Director of Obstetrics, to his tenure at the University of Colorado, where he is Professor, Chief of Obstetrics, and Director of the Prenatal Diagnosis and Genetics Center, John has demonstrated his lifelong commitment to Maternal-Fetal Medicine. With over 400 published journal articles, 15 books, 42 book chapters and nearly 200 abstracts, John has been one of the most prolific contributions to the field.
Among his early books was Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, published in 1977. This was the first textbook to describe the use of obstetrical ultrasound. He was among the early pioneers in many areas of ultrasound diagnosis of fetal structural abnormalities, including skeletal dysplasias. He collaborated with leaders in pediatric cardiology and in clinical genetics resulting in advances in fetal echocardiography and genetic diagnosis, and is currently collaborating in a multi-institutional trial (FASTER) to detect fetal anomalies in the first and second trimester of pregnancy.
Among his other contributions, John was instrumental in the development of fetoscopy and embryoscopy, and was among the first in the world to describe the use of real-time ultrasound in fetal blood sampling, which permitted new diagnostic assessments of fetal conditions. He was first to use ultrasound in fetal intraperitoneal transfusion to treat blood incompatibilities between the mother and fetus. Following the introduction of Doppler Ultrasound, John was among the first clinicians to develop and implement Doppler ultrasound applications for evaluating the fetal circulation system. These contributions led to improved understanding of fetal growth and development and have resulted in better treatment and improvement in perinatal outcomes.
A dedicated teacher and mentor, John has trained 26 Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellows, first at Yale and since 1992 at the University of Colorado. Many of his trainees have gone on to leadership positions and have established international reputations of their own. John has also trained over 300 residents in obstetrics and gynecology. He always brings enormous enthusiasm to teaching and is a frequently invited speaker at national and international conferences. He has created educational forums where physicians and sonographers can learn the latest techniques in ultrasound, and he spends time one-on-one with private practice physicians from throughout the United States who want to improve their ultrasound skills.
John has also made great contributions to the specialty in other areas as well, giving of his time and leadership. He is past president of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), a member of the Board of Governors and served on the Bioeffects Committee of the AIUM. He was influential in forming the Ultrasound Practice Accreditation Commission of their AIUM to improve the quality of prenatal ultrasound in the USA by standardizing ultrasound techniques and applications.
Among his honors, John was the first American to receive the Ian Donald Gold Medal. This medal, awarded by the Board of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1995, honored John’s significant contributions to the development of ultrasound in obstetrics and gynecology. Other awards John has received in clued the Joseph H. Holmes Clinical Pioneer Award, the History of Medical Ultrasound Pioneer Award and Frye Pioneering Award. These awards, from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, were presented in recognition of John’s contributions and leadership in the field of ultrasound in obstetrics.
While his knowledge and skills have made him a world-renowned MFM specialist, it is his warmth, enthusiasm and caring that endears him to his students and patients alike. His interaction with his patients provides inspiration to those around him. He has the ability to explain complex subject and to win and audience over with his often self-effacing humor. Even in large audiences, because John’s engaging and encouraging manner, each person feels that John is speaking just to him. John’s past and current fellows revere him as a teacher, leader and friend.
John and his wife Susan make their home in downtown Denver where they enjoy the arts, tennis and numerous favorite restaurants. John is multi-talented, also being an accomplished jazz pianist and cook.
We are honored that Dr. Hobbins is a member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He is a role model, mentor and teacher of the highest caliber.
“John created an environment in which any question could be asked…..”
~Gregory R. Devore, M.D.