I’m a wife and mother to 2 very energetic little boys. I’m originally from Cleveland, OH. After high school, I moved to North Carolina to attend UNC-Chapel Hill. During my last year of college, I got accepted to both medical school and Teach For America. I knew I did not want to teach forever but I have always had a heart for serving youth, particularly those who are socioeconomically marginalized and/or living in under resourced communities. Fortunately, I was allowed to defer enrollment in medical school for 2 years while serving as a TFA corps member. I ended up teaching high school chemistry, biology, and physics in a charter school in Dallas, TX. After my two years of service, I moved back to Ohio to attend Ohio State College of Medicine. I met and married my husband while in medical school. After medical school, we were blessed to be able to come back to the Carolinas for my pediatric residency at UNC Children’s Hospital. I practiced primary care in Cary for a few years after residency. In April 2023, I made the transition to Pediatric Housecalls, which I love!
2. How/why did you become a pediatrician?
I’ve always been interested in science and becoming a doctor. According to my mother, I started saying I wanted to be an OBGYN at the age of 5. Honestly, I don’t know where that seed was planted; but you better believe, while growing up, my mother always reminded me of those words. I entered medical school thinking I would pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology. However, during the first week of my labor and delivery rotation, I quickly realized the patient I actually wanted to care for after the delivery was the newborn. During my pediatric rotations, it became apparent that taking care of children made practicing medicine much more enjoyable. Children have so much positive energy and are so resilient. It is so gratifying to watch your patients bounce back from illnesses and continue to grow and thrive. I also enjoy the challenge of working with a particularly vulnerable population. Naturally, children are quite vulnerable. Many of them are too young to talk and tell you exactly what they feel in their bodies and all of them rely on an adult to care for them to some capacity. Pediatricians must be creative in how they gather information from the patient and their caregiver to get to the right diagnosis and offer the appropriate therapy. Also, children change rapidly. There are some illnesses that I consider change with the age of the patient due to physiologic differences. Also, the developmental differences of each
age determine how I approach and engage the patient in my examination of them. Understanding the intricacies of development and physiology at different age ranges is a challenge that I enjoy.
3. What is the mission or main focus of Pediatric Housecalls?
Pediatric Housecalls is an at-home, on-demand mobile urgent care for children. Essentially, we offer old-fashioned house calls for common pediatric illnesses. Pediatric Housecalls is not a replacement for your primary care doctor. However, let’s face it, there are always times when you can’t get an appointment with your child’s PCP. Usually, this leads to a trip to a busy urgent care or emergency department. There might
even be times when you can get an appointment with your PCP, but you simply do not have the time or energy to drag all the kids out of the house to a busy clinic. Pediatric Housecalls solves that problem by bringing the clinic to you. I offer much of the same rapid testing and some therapies that are offered in the clinic. I can test for flu, COVID, Strep and UTIs and much more. I can also administer breathing treatments and other medical therapies in the home.
4. What are the best & most challenging parts of being a business owner and health practitioner?
One of the hardest parts of being a physician has been not having enough time to spend with each patient. I find that most patients and doctors are frustrated with the lack of quality time they get to spend with each other. There are many factors that contribute to the rushed care patients received today. Fortunately, this is no longer a problem for
me. Through Pediatric Housecalls, I can offer longer visits in a setting where the patient is most comfortable. The other challenge of being a healthcare practitioner is that most patients do not present like the text-book case. Every human is unique in how they display and deal with illness. It is important to always think outside of the box for challenging cases, ensure that you’ve ruled out the worst possibilities and offer the safest, yet individualized, treatment for each patient. The best part of being a health care practitioner is healing people. Seeing patients get better brings me so much joy.
5. Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 years?
In 5 years, I hope that most families in Raleigh know that I exist as a resource for their children. My goal of providing quality, attentive care to families will never change. I also hope to inspire other doctors to take this lesser-known path of providing medical care. Most doctors are trained to take a pre-destined career path and practice how all the doctors before them practiced. I chose step outside of that box to be able to practice medicine in a way that was most aligned with me values. I want other doctors to know that after all those years of dedication to studying, working 80 hour a week and 30-hours-shifts in training, you get to decide how you want to practice medicine. Once other doctors realize this, they will begin to choose to practice in a way that leads to less burnout and in turn, provider better care for their patients.
6. Who do you look up to or admire in the health community?
I look up to my physician mentors, Dr. Kenya McNeil-Trice and Dr. Rasheeda Monroe. Both women played an integral role in my medical training. As women of color and leaders in their field, they were a safe space for me during my pediatric training. They were also fabulous educators and advisors. They are both brilliant women that I hope to be like one day.
7. Tell me about your most recent business win.
Recently, I connected with Dr. Beth Galla of Sweetbay Pediatrics in Cary. She is a solo practitioner of a direct primary care practice which is a rapidly growing model of primary care. It is a fantastic model that offers patients more time with, and direct access to, their doctor. The downside is that most of the time, DPC doctors practice independently; so, when they are away for an extended period of time, their patients may end up in urgent cares or ERs. Recently Dr. Galla had to travel for several days unexpectedly. I was able to offer house calls to patients during that time. The benefit to this is that we know and trust the type of care that we both provide. Also, we can communicate about her patients, even while she is away, to ensure that the best care is being offered. I hope to be able to be offer this service to other solo practitioners in the area.