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Several pictures of doctors who are featured on the Local Legends web site

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Barbara Bradley, M.D.

Picture of Barbara Bradley
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Barbara Bradley, M.D.

“I love working in OB/GYN. It's a combination of medical and surgical specialties that gives you a real opportunity to affect a pregnancy, a patient's health, and an infant's well being.”


Vernon J. Ehlers



When Barbara J. Bradley was a child growing up in New York's Harlem in the 1950s, she saw all around her neighbors who received little or barely adequate health care. It was a time when the poor often struggled on without ever seeing a doctor. Her parents had come to New York from South Carolina, where health care for underserved populations was also inadequate at the time. She vowed then, as a young girl, to become a doctor and to serve the needy and the poor. And this she has done, for decades practicing obstetrics and gynecology in inner city neighborhoods while serving those most in need.

Nominated by Representative Vernon J. Ehlers (R-MI-3rd), Barbara Bradley was born in New York City, received her medical degree from Mount Sinai Medical School in New York and came to Spectrum Health, a health system based in Western Michigan, in 1992. As the Medical Director for the OB/GYN Residency Practice at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, she supervises 16 residents and is responsible as the attending physician for oversight of all clinical activities in a practice that registers more than 6400 patient visits a year-many of whom are uninsured or underinsured women in the Western Michigan area.

Barbara Bradley began her career with a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, and later served as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee as well as the Director of Ambulatory Care, Obstetrics and Gynecology for the Milwaukee County Medical Complex. Since 1992 she has been deeply involved in health care in the Grand Rapids region serving both as a medical director and as an educator for residents in OB/GYN.

She brings a passion for clinical teaching to her role as Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University. She has twice won the coveted Leo J. Kenny Award for Teacher of the Year at Spectrum Health in Michigan, and is also the recipient of the CREOG National Faculty Award for Excellence in Resident Education (1998).

She has published in the journal Current Therapy in Pediatrics and elsewhere, and has served for many years as an Advisory Council Member for Parent to Parent, a Spectrum Health program. Teaching clinical medicine and bringing OB/GYN services to those in need remains her passion. "I'd most like to be remembered for inspiring the resident doctors we help train to provide sensitive, high-quality care to all patients regardless of economic background," she said.

"I'm fortunate because I've had the opportunity to help women deliver healthy babies, and that is something that helps a family and radiates outwards for generations."



Appointed Instructor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI


Appointed Instructor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

1996 & 2000

Awarded Leo J. Kenny Award for Teacher of the Year, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, MI


Appointed Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Michigan State University, Spectrum Health-Butterworth Campus, Grand Rapids, MI




Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York, NY


Obstetrics and Gynecology

Sub Specialty

Medical Education