Callie Cox Bauer

(Minnesota-Twin Cities)

The Women’s Health Advocate  | 40 Under 40 Class of 2020


"Make your own happiness; that is truly the only way to guarantee you will have it. "


Callie Cox Bauer is a Milwaukee-based OBGYN who chose women’s health to help empower women to lead the life they choose. Learn all about her journey to becoming a doctor below.    



What inspired you to go into this line of work?
To empower women to lead the life they choose. Too often women are not heard about what they want in their healthcare. As can been seen in our maternal mortality and morbidity in this country, we are sorely lacking at providing high-quality, cost-effective and patient-centered care. I wanted to be an advocate for my patients to help them learn about healthcare treatment options and empower them to lead healthy lives and create the family that they desire. 

What challenge did you overcome to get where you are today?
I came from a poor family that lived paycheck to paycheck. My parents did not have college degrees and little knowledge about how to get to college. In my teen years, they also struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol, which left me in an unsafe living situation. I was in the 11th grade when they both were arrested for secondary drug use. This time period taught me valuable lessons on how I did not want to be as an adult. My grandmother then took over my care and has had a large positive impact on my life. 

Did someone help you get to where you are today, like a mentor? 
I have had many mentors that have helped get me to where I am today. It started with Mary Lester, my grandmother who showed me that hard work and dedication can lead to success. She also supported me through some of my most difficult years. She was the first in my family to get a college degree as a nurse and fostered my interest in medicine. In college and beyond, I have been fortunate to have many mentors that have helped me succeed in many different areas of my life. 

What do you love most about your job?
I love that I can take care of women through their whole lives and be such an integral part in large health decisions. It is a special bond to be trusted to bring another life into the world or be there for the heartbreak that sometimes happens in obstetrics. I love doing surgery; it’s the ability to fix something for a woman right now that can have a great impact on her life and allow her to live more fully. I also love teaching the next generation of physicians that will be OBGYNs, and I hope that I help them become well-rounded, compassionate doctors. 

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Describe yourself in three words. 
Passionate, loyal and intelligent. 

Your life philosophy is…
Make your own happiness; that is truly the only way to guarantee you will have it.  

What is the best piece of advice you received?

You can only care as much as the person that you are trying to care for does.

If someone handed you an airline ticket to a place of your choosing, where would you go and why? 
A tropical beach. It is cold and gray in Wisconsin, so it would be nice to have some sun and sand. 

What’s something you cannot live without?
My family. They keep me grounded and sane. 

Name a book you read that positively shaped you. 
“Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. You have to acknowledge your fault to truly make an impact. 

If you weren’t working in the industry that you are, what would you be doing instead?
I would love to be a makeup artist. 

How do you unwind or relax after a long day? 
Read. I love science fiction and fantasy novels. 

The most rewarding aspect of your job is… 
Seeing the residents learn new things and advance in their skills. 

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say and why?
“A woman has control over her body, and no one has a right to tell her what she should do with it or force her to do something with it.” We need to respect women; we are not objects.

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Investing in my health and working out most days of the week. Ensuring that I have that time to myself allows me to be better in all aspects of my life. 

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
Usually take a break, sometimes I will work out, call a close friend, doodle for a minute. You need a break when you feel that way. 


What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be money, time, energy, etc.)
The best investment that I have made is my education and my health. I love my career and I feel good taking care of myself physically and emotionally with exercise.