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Balancing Motherhood and a Medical Career with Dr. Gabrielle Williams
Episode 694th July 2023 • Momma Has Goals • Kelsey Smith
00:00:00 00:41:48

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I'm thrilled to have Gabrielle Williams, a dedicated family medicine doctor, as our guest today. In this episode, we discuss the importance of appointments, dealing with mom guilt, overcoming burnout, and other advice!

Gabrielle shares her personal experiences and motivations, revealing how being a mom and pursuing a fulfilling career in medicine can beautifully intertwine. One key aspect we'll explore is the significance of building a healthy relationship with your doctor, particularly for moms. Trust and effective communication are key! We'll also delve into the role of virtual appointments, which have revolutionized healthcare access and convenience for busy moms and their families.

Working through mom guilt and burnout can be so tough, and I know many moms can relate. Gabrielle offers invaluable insights and practical strategies for finding balance and shares her own experiences and methods for overcoming both.

Additionally, we'll dive into the ways Gabrielle and her partner prioritize each other, discussing strategies for nurturing the relationship amidst busy schedules and responsibilities. These insights will inspire you to strengthen your own connection with your partner, fostering a supportive and loving environment for your family.

What you'll hear in this episode:

[3:05] Why did you decide to become a family medicine doctor?

[10:40] The importance of building a healthy relationship with your doctor and the importance of virtual appointments.

[15:04] How do you manage mom guilt?

[20:35] How do you get yourself out of the cloud of burnout?

[25:39] Advice for those who don't have a mentor.

[29:39] What are some of the ways that you and your partner prioritize each other?

[34:08] How do you allow yourself to be okay with wanting to chase new dreams along the way?

[38:07] Being a woman of color in the medical field is something that we should see more of.


Follow Gabrielle on Instagram: @dr.notms

Follow Gabrielle on TikTok: @gabwilliamsmd


Follow Kelsey: @thisiskelseysmith

Follow Momma Has Goals: @mommahasgoals

Download the app for Apple or Android

Learn more at

Use the code Kelsey for $50 off your ticket to EmpowerHER Live:

Join our text list. Text "Goals" to (707) 347-0319


Speaker 1 0:00

Definitely recommend for peers to teach kids healthy lifestyle habits at home and then bring them to the doctor to help reinforce that, in addition to getting their immunizations and all that stuff. But I think it's important to teach those things at home to say, hey, we usually go to the doctor because of this or role playing. That's what I do with my kids, I have them act like a doctor, so there'd be feel more comfortable. And knowing that doctors are here to help.

Kelsey Smith 0:26

Let's reimagine mom life together. Well, the high schools is your hub for relatable support and helpful resources that helped you fuel yourself alongside motherhood, your identity is bigger than mom's. And whatever your goals are, together, we're making them a reality. The older I get, the more I realized that there are things in life that we need to really function that no one ever taught us how to deal with or handle or step into or do. And one of those things is the care providers that you need in your life, whether it's a pediatrician, a dentist, a family physician, or your OB, no one teaches you unless you just had parents that walked you through that no one teaches you what doctors you need when you need them, why you need them and how to find them. And so I love talking about breaking down what the different needs are for health and how you find the resource that's right for you, because it's not a one size fits all. And our guest today is Dr. Gabrielle Williams, and she is a family medicine physician of over six years, she loves to help others achieve that amazing quality of life through education and advocacy. She's actually opening her own primary care practice in September called Gateway directed health in Atlanta, Georgia. And she will be a direct primary care center that will focus on relationship based care, not just what you get provided through your insurance. Gabriela is also a mother of two wife of 10 years and a lover of God and then food. I loved our conversation because we really break down primary care and why Gabrielle thinks that should be a little bit different. What does it mean to have a more relationship based structure with your physician, and how to care for yourself not as just a health care worker, but also a mom and everything else, how she raises her kids alongside her dreams, how she went to medical school, right? During having a newborn, and everything else, this is such a good conversation, definitely dive in and learn a little bit more about what might be right for you and your family medical needs. And also how you can achieve your dreams, including medical school as a mom, Gabriella, I'm so excited to have you on the podcast today. Families always have so many questions about the health of their kids, right and their family, because it is so important to care for ourselves and make sure that we have the right guidance from a physician telling us the right things. So before we jump into some of the questions that the community has, in your expertise, I want to know, how did you get started in family medicine and what brought you up to where you're at today?

Speaker 1 3:05

Sure, so I chose Family Medicine as my specialty during medical school, because I like having knowledge about a lot of things, even if it's not great depth, like a specialist. But I always have knowledge and able to initiate the workup or evaluation for that patient. And I chosen to go into medical school. In high school, I was like, wanting to be a therapist because I do enjoy talking with people and helping them. And I also want to be an accountant because I love math. And I was like how do these two things meet up somewhere. And I found that medicine allows me to use my analytical skills in order to help people buy a gift of mine in order to be able to help people. So that's why I chose to be a doctor.

Kelsey Smith 3:50

Absolutely love that. And did you have other doctors that you knew in your life or what really brought you to seeing, okay, this is an option for me. And this is a path I can take.

Speaker 1 4:01

I actually don't have any examples of doctors in the family. I was actually the first one to graduate college in my family, which I'm really grateful for. But to be honest, really is watching House. So watching the Medical School show, I was like, I want to do that. And so that's the exposure, the initial exposure, and then later on I shadowed different doctors in order to know what it really was like, like what's on TV?

Kelsey Smith 4:24

Yeah. And what a positive of screen time right such a conversation lately. But another just real life example of exposure via TV can end up being the first graduate of your family and in turn a doctor. What are some of the kind of myths or misconceptions about family medicine that you see from a parent's perspective? So when parents and family members come to you, what are some of the things that you hear that you're like, Oh, that's a misconception or myth.

Speaker 1 4:55

A lot of things are I don't need to see a doctor or if I'm healthier, I don't feel well than I do. don't have to see a doctor. And that's a big myth because there are things around the family. And things like blood pressure that are typically called the silent killers, because you don't have symptoms until something really bad happens. And you're and if you're going to the doctor regularly to check your blood pressure, then you would know, hey, I have high blood pressure, it's at the lower stage. And I can go ahead and start a treatment plan in order to address it. So that's one of the big things are people like that I don't need the doctor if I don't have any symptoms. And I definitely want to challenge that and say, Hey, we're not only here just to treat symptoms, but also for prevention for and so we're looking at different things like breast cancer, like colon cancer to screen for those things. So patients can if they want, if they don't have a great a to if they do, hopefully, we catch it earlier stage and be able to treat it.

Kelsey Smith 5:47

Yeah. And so when you have a child, you know that you should go to the pediatrician, and you have your pediatrician, and then women have their OBGYN or their other specialty doctors. And then I feel like men more often go to a family medicine doctor, because they don't really fit into one of those two buckets per se. How do you talk to women, especially about the difference between a family doctor for your OB and your pediatrician?

Speaker 1 6:16

Sure, so yeah, so in family medicine, we are trained to help both kids and adults. And there are pediatricians specifically for kids and gone to OB GYN specifically for women. However, OBGYN is focus more on the breast and genital parts, but not necessarily your blood pressure, your diabetes, because other things that are associated with the top killers in the society, which are heart disease strokes, as so it is important to have both or your family medicine doctor can do a lot of things that your OB can, especially non surgical things like dealing with menopause, or doing your Pap smear, and things like that. So you might not need an OB, unless, again, you need surgery, or you're pregnant, and you'll definitely want to see an OB

Kelsey Smith 7:01

amazing. So if someone's going to an OB, and they are having an annual exam there, you would also advise for them to make an appointment with a family medicine doctor, is it once a year to check out all those other things that maybe the OB isn't prioritizing? Because that's just not their primary role?

Speaker 1 7:21

Is that right? Correct? Yes, I definitely agree with seeing your doctor at least once a year and other things come up by now we're in the season of allergy. So you know, your OB might not be able to address that. And that would be perfect to see your primary care doctor.

Kelsey Smith 7:35

Okay. And so that makes sense from the Women's standpoint, like you should be in both of these places. Now, how about the kids? Do the kids go to both doctors? Do they switch from the pediatrician to the family? Or do they pick one or the other?

Speaker 1 7:47

So for pediatric patients, they pick between one if they wanted to get trician, or family doctor, pediatricians typically see their patients up until 18. Versus family doctors are able to see them from birth all the way up until their 80s. It's up to the family who they want to see

Kelsey Smith 8:04

amazing. What are some ways that families can incorporate healthy conversations about health from the beginning stages. So saying, hey, it's good to go to the doctor or talking to your kids. So many kids and adults can be scared of the doctor, whether it's from trauma, or just stories or different things like that. How are some ways being a mom yourself, you incorporate conversation just on the day to day about healthy lifestyle and loving doctors and caring for yourself and all of that.

Speaker 1 8:36

Definitely recommend for peers to teach kids healthy lifestyle habits at home and then bring them to the doctor to help reinforce that, in addition to getting their immunizations and all that stuff. But I think it's important to teach those things at home to say, hey, we usually go to the doctor because of this or role playing. That's what I do with my kids, I have them act like a doctor, so they feel more comfortable. And knowing that doctors are here to help.

Kelsey Smith 9:02

I love that. And you have heard this phrase that you say I believe that primary care should be different or you think it should be a certain way. Let's unpack that a little bit. Tell me what you mean by that?

Speaker 1 9:13

Sure. So typically, in the adult setting, or even sometimes in pediatric setting, the patients usually see the doctor for about five to 10 minutes and might have to wait an hour or two before seeing their doctor. And then they have to wait a few months for follow up. Or if they have, let's say a UTI and after their appointment with a doctor and it takes weeks or even months to be able to go see that doctor, and they may have to go to the emergency room or urgent care. And I find that that really is a strain on the relationship between the patient the doctor, we really strongly believe that it should be therapeutic, that we should know each other well so that we can have this relationship and be able to dive more into help because it is hard to tell the stranger off your health issues. So having a good relationship and good rapport with your doctor is important. And I think time is a big factor in making sure that those things happen. And so I believe that patients should have more time with their doctors should have time to be able to see their doctor when they need to don't have to wait one to two hours just for an appointment. Because that is a big deterrent, because then you're saying, typical Shoot, I'll speak for myself on my arm, I'm not going to doctor if it's going to take all day in order to see them for five minutes. And so I think primary care should be available to everyone, but in a way that is therapeutic in a way that breeds good relationships so that it can hopefully lead to better health. Yeah,

Kelsey Smith:

I love that so much. Because you're right, we're busy, especially the women listening to this podcast are really busy navigating things in their day to day, but also just the mental load. And so the idea of waiting two hours in a waiting room to go for five minutes to hear, hey, you're doing good, is not a priority for a lot of people. But also I know, even just in my appointments with my OB for pregnancy, you go in and they'll say How are you feeling? Do you have any questions? By the time that I leave the room? I'm like, Oh, wait, I do have a question. And you go back. So if you're building this relationship, and you're there for a little bit longer, you're allowing the doctor to also mentally decompress with each patient. And you as a patient also come in and say, Okay, now I'm actually processing what some of my questions may be, of course, it's great to come with a list or whatever else. But that's not always how it plays out. I think that's such a better approach to allow people to have that comfort to be able to have that relationship with you, it feels like such a win win. And to do that, not only in a place of needing a cure, or in immediate response to a sickness or an issue that you're having, but really just nurturing this healthy relationship.


I love that. Yes. So yeah, that's my goal. My goal is for everyone to experience that kind of relationship with their doctor with me, or hopefully other doctors will say, hey, maybe this isn't the best way. And I understand that we have lots of patients, we have lots of people to take care of. And sometimes we do have to increase quantity, but I think quality should not suffer because of that.

Kelsey Smith:

So during the pandemic, there was definitely huge uprise in appointments being seen virtually, or patients being seen virtual appointments, right. And sometimes that's fine. Sometimes you can just have a conversation. And that's really all you need. And especially if you can be face to face on a video call, then there's a huge benefit to that. But some things obviously the doctor needs to physically be there with you. What are some of your thoughts on that virtual appointments first


in person? Sure, I think they're a great asset to the way that we do medicine. Now, I don't think it's a replacement. Because I think seeing the patient touching the patient is very important. If you have belly pain, being able to kneel where your pain is, gives us guidance on what can be causing your pain. So I think I think virtual appointments, video versus telephone are helpful for follow ups. Oh, I checked my blood pressure at home and I just need to tell the doctor really quick like what my blood pressure readings are, and we need to adjust medicines. But I think there is still a need for in person visits for that physical, physical exam and such. Yeah.

Kelsey Smith:

Okay, shifting gears a little bit. Becoming a doctor is no small feat, right? It's definitely a lot of schooling. It's a lot of work, a lot of studying a lot of shadow work and working with other professionals. How have you balanced that career path as a mom? And where in your career path? Did your children come into play?


Hmm, is there a such thing as balanced God? But I had my Yes, so my husband and I have been married for 10 years. And so we got married right before medical school and decided, hey, we want to have kids and we don't want our school, my schooling to get in the way of that. So I had my first child at the end of fourth year of medical school in the last year. And then I had my second child and second year of residency. So family medicine residency is usually a three year program. And so that's when I had my second so it was definitely challenging. I don't regret it at all because I'm glad I have my kids. I'm glad that I had them when I did and didn't have to wait for a perfect time. However, it was hard and what made it a little bit easier is having my family around so we live near family live near both of my parents and they have been such a great help in taking care of the kids especially when I had really late rotations and didn't get home until eight. My first child had to sleep over or when I had to work the weekends my husband had to take care of the kids while I was at work on the weekends. Family has definitely made it much not easier but they've just made it such a More better process and more seamless process and having kids and raising them. Yeah.

Kelsey Smith:

How do you manage mom guilt when it comes up? Because I'm sure in some of those moments you had just like all of us do, I haven't met a mom yet that's never had one day of guilt in their life. So how did you manage those moments? When you're like, gosh, I'm feeling a little guilty for being here and


not there, or vice versa? Yes, I had a lot of that with my first child, because I was pursuing my passion and had to leave her. And I felt well, she loved her grandmother more than me, because of course, that's who she knew more, right. And so I felt guilty. I was like, oh, no, this is going to color the rest of our relationships. And mind you, she's only a few years old. And I'm already thinking way far in the future about how this is gonna affect her. And a lot of people were like, one she may not remember and to just show up when you can. And so my ways of dealing with manguel is not allowing what I think is going to strained relationship, not allowing that to stay in my head in my heart, because it will come out, right, I'm doing a self fulfilling prophecy. If I keep thinking, this is going to happen. We're not going to have a strained relationship, but instead thinking more positive and definitely praying for creating relationships with the kids.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah, that is so important. Because often we can create something by worrying about it and manifesting that fear anxiety, where if we just nurture the positive, then sure we're aware, we're aware, yes, I need to make sure that I'm showing up in this other place, but I'm not building the fire of oh, I'm not there. So now it's I'm gonna make it when we are together that much worse, because I'm worrying about it. That is so important. What are some pieces of advice that you have for someone that maybe hasn't taken that leap yet? Or they're not even sure what's worth it to them? Because you knew you were like, this is worth it to me to leave my kids because I know I want to do this for the woman that hasn't made that step yet. And they're like, I don't know if this is worth it. What advice would you give them?


I think that's okay, if you don't know if it's worth it, because it's hard to count the cost, right? It's hard when I was like, oh, no, I'm just going to have my kids and be a be a doctor. And it's all fun and games, but then you realize how much has been taken away from the kids so to speak. And I think that's okay to not know what truly the cost is. But just thinking of what is important to you. And if you're willing to work on what's important to you, then it will work out because you will prioritize where you need to prioritize, and being intentional say, All right, I do want to become a doctor, I do want to become a successful entrepreneur. This does mean I will have to sacrifice time with a family. But I know this for a short time, and speaking with the family and talking to the kids talking to the husband like alright, this is the time that I need in order to, to pursue to pursue my dreams. And the hope is that eventually I won't have to work as hard so that I can spend more time and to teach the kids right what that looks like, too. Because now they also need to know what does it look like to be an entrepreneur and be a mom and be successful? Yeah,

Kelsey Smith:

showing them that you can go after your dreams when you have lots of things standing in your way and making that easy to and then the communication piece. I love that you brought that up communicating with the other people in your life for the support that you need. Because they don't know unless we tell them. I absolutely love that. Burnout is so common as a mom. And as a health care professional. Right? That's probably the two biggest buckets that people talk about burnout is health care, and parenting. Well, how are you managing both? What are some pieces of advice that you have? And if you're not finding like, this makes me better in the moment? What are some ways that just you stay aware of it? So you check it?


Yes, sure. Yeah. So like I told you guys about having, I think primary care should be different. So typically, in my clinic, I'm seeing 20 Plus patients a day. So that's 20 Plus personalities, 20 plus demands, in addition to taking care of labs and letters and prior authorizations, from assurance and all the things. And I knew that's what was required in medicine, but I didn't realize how it would affect me emotionally. And especially of again dealing with 20 different personalities. So in the first year, I became really burnt out and I noticed that I wasn't giving my kids my all because I didn't have anything left when I came home, gave my everything to the job and to the patients which they need the help. They need the compassion. But I realized I didn't have anything left from my kids and my husband or myself. And I just kept praying. I was like, I can't continue to live in ministry or feeling okay, I can't wait for the weekend every day. That's not a way to live to me. I thought it'd be more important to enjoy every day in some way somehow. So I definitely relied on prayer, my relationship with God and hanging out with friends and figuring out how I wanted my clinic to look like if I had all the creative energy in the world and had unlimited resources. How would I want my clinic to work. And so I started drafting it. And that gave me hope that, okay, wow, I can really set this clinic up. So eventually I am going to start my own practice where I won't have to see 20 Plus patients, they'll have time with me and be able to, again, develop those therapeutic relationships. And so that's what's been giving me the resiliency to deal with the burnout. It's like, alright, this is temporary, I know where I'm going. So saying, I'm okay with not staying in this place. And I'm okay with starting something new. So that I will be happy, the patients will be happy, and my family will be happy. Yeah,

Kelsey Smith:

I love that. And I think that's applies to anything you're trying to pursue in life, right? Like for you to put your practice together, but also in motherhood, if you wake up in the morning, and you're like, I don't want it to feel like this. So I'm gonna focus on where I want it to go. But so often, when we I'll include myself in this group, because I've definitely been there. When you're in those moments where you're just overwhelmed, you maybe are burnt out, but you're not even acknowledging that you're burnt out. But you're overwhelmed in that moment, the planning of, okay, if I had all the resources, if I had all of this, you can't even get your brain there in that moment. So it makes it really difficult. I agree when I'm in a healthy state. And I do put myself in that. I call it unicorn brainstorming from some of my mentors, when you get there and you start dreaming and going and you're like, I can do this, I can for sure do this, I have all the resources, I can do whatever. But if you can't get your brain there, what are some ways that you get yourself out of that? Maybe it's walking outside? Or you said, hanging out with friends? How do you reset to get yourself back to like Ground Zero,


taking time off and giving myself space to be able to think right and therapy and speaking with a therapist, because like you said, it is hard to get out of that cloud shadow, fog, whatever you want to call it, while you're in it. And so, again, speaking to my husband, breathing exercise, like he said, and also speaking with the therapists, for sure. And when I said hanging out with friends, like those are the friends that helped me to think through, they helped me think through the difficulties I was having with burn. Yeah, I love that.

Kelsey Smith:

One of the things that I think is so important for that, for working through burnout, working through your life, your careers, your ambitions, and your goals, is networking and collaboration, remembering you don't have to do it all alone. So you said you have family local, that's one example. Right? And then beyond family, you find these other people that can support you. I would love to know from a professional standpoint as well as a motherhood standpoint, how have you found some other people in your life to support the seasons that you're in? Whether it's other doctors that you're referring clients to? Or other doctors that you're just friends with? Or mentors, people supporting you? In any of your ventures? How have you found some of those people? And has it started with you going first and raising your hand?


Great question. A lot of my friends are college friends. So they've known me for a while and we're on the same track. As far as professional and personal development. It did take me speaking and letting them know because they wouldn't have known otherwise. And yeah, and reaching out, I've also reached out to a mentor, saw someone that I aspire to be or to have, okay, they have their own business. And this is they look really happy. Alright, let's talk about how to how I can get that as well or what they had to do. So definitely looking for people who you think who you aspire to be, again, not envy, not jealousy, or anything like that, but just Okay, I like I like how happy they are joyful, and they seem content in their life. How do they achieve that contentment?

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah, looking into that person. Let's break that down a little bit more. Because I think when you're in a field like medicine, or really big business or things like that, it's you have easier access to mentors, or it's a little bit more normalized. For the stay at home mom, that's like a mentor, what type of mentor would I go and get? I agree that some of the most impactful people in my life currently are random people that I message on Instagram and was just like, hey, I would love to know how you got here. What are some of the ways that you've started those conversations with those people that it may be felt a little awkward, but you also knew you needed to create that relationship?


Right? There's there was someone that I saw who was really successful in business. And as you said, Hey, are you interested in having a mentee? And it was awkward, but I tried to make it a funny awkward to break up the eyes. Hey, I really I see that you've talked to me before about this is what your life looks like. And this is how you've been able to be successful. Are you okay with taking someone on and teaching? And that person said yes, I'd like me to the funny awkward you want a mentee because I'm looking for a mentor? Yeah.

Kelsey Smith:

And I love that and just allowing yourself to have the conversation And however it feels comfortable. And if it's just like a little play on that. Now, was that something that you invested in and paid for? Or did this person just provide their time in exchange for seeing a result?


Exactly right, they provided their time, which I'm so grateful for, and not just time, but like, I feel like invested in me with time and like exposure and trying to get me out there to speak to other people trying to make sure I get opportunities to showcase myself and helped me to get out of my entry. Not really get out of my introvert. That's a word but really to to open up and be okay with meeting new people and breaking through the social anxiety.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah. And was this someone that you had met in person before? Or were connected to? How would you recommend if you have someone that's I don't have anyone like that in my life? So that one person that is going to find someone random, whether it's either on LinkedIn or Instagram or walking down the street? Or the person that is, oh, I think I might know someone that I might message? Can you give a little advice to each of those people?


Okay, so for the first or for the second person who might know someone definitely reach out anyway, because it's okay, we have a loose connection or association with that person. Go ahead. The worst thing they can say is No, I'm busy. are no banks, and then we're moving on. It's like, All right, do you have anyone else that you recommend, or white men acts like further references? And then for those who are for the first person who doesn't know anyone, Facebook groups, Facebook groups, those mom groups are helpful and post like, Alright, I'm shy. And I really don't know anyone. Can anyone give guidance on this? And people are, you'd be surprised how many people are willing to help to share their knowledge. Just go on a Facebook, just join a local group that you that you find on Facebook, you might not have you, this might be your first time joining. And that's okay. If you need help, and you're willing to ask for help, help will come to you that I can promise Yeah.

Kelsey Smith:

And you just reminded me too, that it's not always the person you're having that conversation with, right? Like you said, even if you know someone and they say no, say Do you know anyone else that I could maybe learn from EA. And it also reminded me to say that I could learn from afar, maybe you could follow them on the platforms that they're active on, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're directly mentoring you as much as we want to get there. Until you find that person, it might just be following their content or email list. If they're posting on LinkedIn, normal people are posting really great things on Facebook and LinkedIn every day, even Twitter or Reddit, that aren't coaches, or professional mentors, they're just sharing their experiences in a way that you can learn. I absolutely love that. What are some ways that you hope to embody the same ways of problem solving or due diligence expanding your surroundings to your kids?

Unknown Speaker:

Oh, can you rephrase the question? How did I understand? Yeah,

Kelsey Smith:

what are some ways you've been so good at finding new mentors and new people in your life and really putting yourself into paths that you didn't see walked before you like you said, you were the first to graduate of your family? You looked for a mentor by putting yourself out there, you really have this resilience and problem solving mentality? How do you hope to really build that within your children as well? What are some ways that you believe you've been able to do that for yourself that you hope to pass down to really ingrain that resilience and problem solving it as a mom to your kids? Right? Okay, gotcha.


I believe recently, one of the kids was like, oh, I want to tell her that her Her shoes are look cute. And I was like, go ahead, don't be scared to comment and talk to someone. I was like, I'm right here behind you, or any stranger danger, but I'm like right there with her. And just telling her like, it's okay to come up to someone and just as a comment or ask a question, but always in the context with meat there. And even with for her at school, hey, I have this issue with a friend's Did you talk with them? No, I didn't talk with them. I was like, they don't they won't know unless you say something. Until telling the kid said Make sure to speak up about how they're feeling. Even if it seems silly, even if you hurt my feelings, or I need help with this. Making sure to go to the people that you need to speak to who you need to so that you can get to where you need to go then get the help that you need.

Kelsey Smith:

Absolutely. I love that you're helping ingrain this like safety net. I'm here for you if you need me, but also you need to take this step and you need to use your voice and you need to allow yourself to say the things that you're thinking that's so great, absolutely love that. What are some ways that you and your partner prioritize each other and also balance all the moving parts that come with just life in general motherhood, parenting, and then entrepreneurship being a doctor all on top of that.


So we have what we call pillow space. So we'll So as often as we want it to be, but we'll say, All right, we need some pillows, pillow talk, I'm sorry, face space and pillow talk. So we'll, we'll stop what we're doing, go in the room and just talk and just say how we're feeling what's been going on, and be vulnerable with each other in our safe space. And we're trying to build in date night, it's really hard right now, but we're trying to look for an end. So outsourcing some of the duties so that we don't have to take up a lot of time and do it so that we can have time for other things. And definitely communicating, hey, I have the meeting at this time I have this, I have that ahead of time, so that the other person doesn't feel slighted. And feel like okay, man, I have to, I have to pick up the grunt of everything else. But like, alright, this is what I have to do. And just understanding that this is temporary, like we're doing what we have to do in order to make a better life for ourselves. And I think that we've had to remind ourselves and each other that, okay, this is temporary that, like this is going to be for forever, we'll be able to spend more time but we have to do but we have to do to get to where we do.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah. It's hard with little kids and all the different things that you're floating. But it sounds like just the conversations. It's a huge theme I'm hearing through everything you're saying is communicate, have the conversation, allow yourself to continue to move forward. Even if that step isn't as big as you thought it would be, you're still moving forward. I absolutely love that break down to me, what does it mean to start opening your own practice? So you're going to be opening your own practice in September, which is right around the corner? What does that mean? What is unfolding? What advice do you have for others that may be interested? And even if it's not in actual medical practice, what are some things that you've learned that you're like, that was really hard for me to learn, or I'm really in it right now share with us


the process? Sure. So my plan is to start a direct primary care practice. So that is a primary care practice where patients pay a monthly membership fee to their doctor, like a retainer, in order for that doctor to be their personal doctor, right available by phone call, texts, video in person and even home visits to come by their home because some people aren't able to travel. And the reason that was birth is that, like I said earlier about how we're only spending a few minutes with each patient in some way, somehow supposed to know everything, and be able to educate the patient so that they can advocate for themselves, it's really hard to do in five minutes. And so my dream is to build up a practice where patients have a great relationship with me, I have a good relationship with them, for the sake of increasing their quality of life, not just with their physical health, but emotional, social, and mental health as well. And starting this practice, I have reached out to different clinics, who are different doctors who are doing the same model and said, Hey, I would like love to come your clinic again, people I don't know. But people again, I see who are, who I aspire to be or aspire to have what they have. And so I reached out just by calling their number or emailing and said, Hey, can I come by? Can you teach me how you started your clinic, things that were hard for me is trying to understand marketing. And it's because as doctors, especially in a traditional health care model, you get a job at a clinic. And then you just start have patients on your schedule, you didn't have to work for them. You didn't have to market yourself, you didn't have to say, Hey, pay me to show up in your clinic, because of insurance, right? Or insurance says, Hey, you're covered you are in with within network. And so now I'm a new ish physician right on the scene. I'm not necessarily taking insurance because I am working at the patient not necessary, what kind of insurance they have. And so I have to market myself and and this is a relatively new model to the public. And so I have to explain that as well. I definitely had to get my way and saying, oh, no, I'm a doctor, I worked hard. And everyone should just come see me. Now. They don't know me, which is fine. And that's understandable, right? You want to know, we're going to see for your help. So just definitely understanding the importance of marketing and putting myself out there. But for everyone to see that I really am trying to help help everyone as much people as I can. Yeah.

Kelsey Smith:

And again, just coming back to doing things differently, even if you don't know exactly how it's going to unfold, but allowing yourself to just take steps and work towards your dream wherever that is. Have you had moments along the way? And maybe not yet. But you will where your dream changes a little it shifts a little where you're like, Oh, I thought I wanted to do it a little bit like this. But actually, I'm learning that I maybe want to do this differently. And how do you allow yourself if that's the case? I can see you nodding so I think it is if that's the case, how do you allow yourself to be okay with wanting to chase new micro gene dreams along the way?


Hmm, girl? Yeah. It's funny, like you have a dream and you're like, I'm going for full speed and something changes. You're like, oh, this is not what I thought it was. So there were some services that I wanted to add to the practice that I thought would be Pouring to draw people in. And I guess it's a good thing that I was like, Alright, this is for sure this is what I'm doing. And then like people were like, Oh, you don't have to do this, or I do have to add this. And I'm like, just wanting to do it this way. And just like, aren't it, this is not going to kill my dream, right, the dream can still be alive. But one thing I might have to consider is doing more telemedicine while we'd still look for a place to look for an office, I really don't want to do that I'd prefer to see again, see patients in person, but that might be something or I might have to rent a space instead of me seeing from a landlord and rent a rented space from another physician or another renter. So that's, that is a little troubling. But it's also key is like, I have to remind myself, I'm still going to have my dream, I'm still going to be able to do what I want to do. So it's going to look different than I thought.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah. And I think that's almost always the case with everything in life is you maybe get a portion of it that looks the way that you thought it was going to. But the other part maybe looks a little bit different. I think that we can all say that's happened at some point during motherhood and life in general, and especially chasing our dreams or businesses. And, you know, often it ends up better than we expected. But in the moment, you're like, this isn't what I wanted. This isn't where it's going, and it feels uncomfortable. I also love that you're saying, Hey, I don't know how to do these things. Like I don't really know about the marketing piece of it. I don't really know, everything I need to know about getting this physical space, but you're learning and I think so often people stop pursuing a dream too quickly, because they realize they don't know how to do something. And they think that they're not equipped to then see see out that dream or fulfill that dream? Because they're like, Oh, I'm just not meant to do this. Because I don't know, how have you pushed yourself through that if you have this imposter syndrome as buzz word for that, if you have these moments where you're like, oh, my gosh, am I really meant to do this? How do you keep persevering forward?


I keep thinking, I am providing a service that I have heard so many patients need, by all the time they're like, oh, man, I don't get to spend enough time with a doctor or I had to wait this long. And I have to remind myself that it's not about me failing, it's about me actually providing a service for what people have told me that they need that they wish they had. And that's, that's enough fuel for me to keep going to go past the imposter syndrome because it does come in and it does come No, I'm not gonna work. How is this going to happen? But when I get excited, like alright, I am not just doing something random. Which is okay, wasn't it? Okay, I am answering a need and trying to fulfill a need that so many people have to be so many patients have told me. And for me, that's been a nice, a great seal of anticipation and excitement to keep going. And as well as like I said, By faith in that this is where I need to be for my family this for where I need to be for myself, right? This is having those therapeutic relationships with people like this is what I went into medicine for. So this has to be this has to work.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah, and imposter syndrome shows up for everyone. But before we end today, I definitely want to speak to the fact that being a woman of color in the medical field is something to be extremely proud of, and something that we should see more of and representation is important. For the little girls that don't see a doctor that looks like them, or for the moms that are looking to help incorporate that with their daughters or for just the mom themselves that needs that extra inspiration. Why don't you talk to them real quick?


Oh, okay. So I will talk to them. I, Hey, you are doing great. You are wonderful, right? It doesn't? Like that's just a matter of not a matter of opinion. Right? If you look, you will find examples of people who look like me who look like you who are here chasing their dreams and doing wonderful. And so can you there's there is no limit except for what's in our mind. Truly, there are a lot of things that we can overcome, if we choose to overcome and think that they are that they can be overcome. But But yeah, so there are people like me, we are out here on Instagram, tick tock or whatever, or just in the community helping people. And you can do it. If I listen, I know you've probably heard this from many people. But if I can do it, for sure you can do it.

Kelsey Smith:

It has been so wonderful talking to you. Not only do I have insight as a mom on the medical things that I should be prioritizing, and I should definitely get into the family medicine doctor myself, but also just love how real you are that you've accomplished so many amazing things. But you also talk about how you're in it and just really how you're navigating the day today. I'm so proud of you. I'm so inspired by you. I cannot wait to have you back a little bit next year to talk about how your practice is going. How things are up and running. For those that are listening that are local, how can they get in contact with you and those that are dest Then how can they follow along on the internet? Sure.


So my practice is gateway direct help is based in Atlanta. So the website is gateway direct And you can join our email list to find out more information about the practice in get updates and exclusive offers. And for those who are who want to follow on social media, I am on Instagram and Facebook as at Dr. Dot not miss. So that's Dr dot and OT M S, and on tick tock on Mac gab Williams, MD.

Kelsey Smith:

Amazing, we will link all of that in the show notes. Thank you so much for being here. Before you go today. We usually ask what is a goal that you're working on, you're opening a practice. So that's a really big goal. So I realized that's a big focus right now, if there was one other thing that you are focusing on maybe it's even just like on a personal aspect or in your family, what is a goal that you currently have?


My goal is to ensure that my kids and my husband, my relationship with them, doesn't continue to continue to be skipped. I want to prioritize them and so even with with building the practice, I still want them to be my priority. That's hard to do because I have to do a lot of things but I want to be more intentional to make sure that their priority kind of do it different than I did in med school and residency.

Kelsey Smith:

Yeah, I love that. Thank you so much for being here. I cannot wait to have you back and we will chat soon. You your story and what you have to offer this world builds me up. I want to meet you join me on Instagram at this is Kelsey Smith. And let's create a ripple effect for mamas with goals together is better